Golden State Warriors could get much-needed boost to conclude road-trip

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

Golden State Warriors' head coach Steve Kerr has confirmed that Draymond Green's long-awaited return could be imminent, with the veteran forward to potentially play a part in the end of the team's four-game road-trip.

The Warriors went 1-1 on their recent back-to-back in Chicago and Milwaukee, and now head to Memphis for a battle with the Grizzlies on Monday before closing the road-trip against the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday.

Having now missed 16-straight games, Draymond Green could return to the Golden State Warriors lineup in Memphis or Utah

Saturday's loss to the Bucks signalled Green's 16th-straight absence, dating back to his infamous hit to Suns' big man Jusuf Nurkic on December 12 in Phoenix. Golden State are 8-8 in that period, yet have struggled more recently with a 3-7 record in their last 10 games.

The indefinite suspension placed on Green was lifted over a week ago, with the former Defensive Player of the Year now just ramping up his training load and preparation before a return to the floor.

Speaking before the 129-118 loss in Milwaukee, Kerr confirmed Green could play against the depleted Grizzlies on Monday or against the rampant Jazz later in the week.

"He's been working out everyday. I talked to him this morning and he said he's coming round and feeling good so there's a chance he could play in Memphis or Utah."

Steve Kerr on Draymond Green

Golden State's defense has particularly suffered without Green, having ranked 29th across the league in defensive rating over his absence (only ahead of the 3-36 Detroit Pistons). They've ranked 30th over their 3-7 record in the last 10 games.

Green's playmaking will also be crucial with the Warriors having also been without veteran point-guard Chris Paul. The 38-year-old has now missed four games since fracturing his hand against the Detroit Pistons on January 5.

Memphis had a brief resurgence following the return of Ja Morant, only for the Grizzlies' star to suffer a season-ending shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Utah have been one of the most in-form teams in the league, having gone 14-4 over their last 18 games.