Add Draymond Green to the list of Warriors stars with injuries. Green, a three-time All-Star and a linchpin in their recent run of NBA championships, injured his left index finger in Friday’s 127-110 loss to the Spurs.
After the game, his left wrist and index finger were wrapped and Green told reporters it was a ligament issue. The team called the injury a sprained left index finger, ESPN reported.
“I hurt my finger,” Green told reporters. “Ligament action. … It’s pretty sore. I couldn’t grip the ball the whole entire (game), probably since the second quarter. Which is why I was making a lot of one-handed, right-handed passes and dribbling left with my right hand. I couldn’t really grip the ball, so we’ll see. Hopefully, it will calm down a little bit overnight, but who knows?”
Friday’s game was the Warriors’ first without star guard Stephen Curry, who broke his hand two nights earlier against the Suns. Curry had surgery on his hand and will be out three months. The Warriors knew heading into the season they would be without Curry’s backcourt partner, Klay Thompson, who is recovering from an ACL injury.
Green’s status for Saturday’s game against the Hornets is unclear, and because of the team’s outlook – 1-4 after Friday’s loss with little expectation to challenge for a playoff berth – and injury situation, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the team would take a conservative approach with Green.
“The one thing we won’t do is run (Green) into the ground,” Kerr said, per ESPN. “We have to maintain a good schedule with Draymond minutes-wise and games-wise. If he’s banged up, we should make sure we take care of him.”
Green played 34 minutes Friday; he’s averaged 28.8 through the team’s first five games.
“We’ll just sort of take it game by game and see how he’s doing,” Kerr said, “but we were right there late in the third and so we wanted to make a push with him out there. So we played him a few extra minutes tonight than we normally would, but I thought he played well.”
Then there’s Green’s status as the team’s last healthy star, so to speak. That will factor into Kerr’s decision on Green’s playing time.
“Right now, he’s kind of the lone survivor, so he’s got to help all these young guys and teach them what we’ve been about, help to mentor them, and the most important thing is to carry on with the way we’ve gone about our business over the last five years-plus,” Kerr said. “He’s taken on a real leadership role. He understands how much our young players need him, and he’s been fantastic.
“He’s also one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met in my life, and so this will be a big challenge for him and for everybody.”