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.