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Warriors' Draymond Green says he'll make season debut vs. Rockets

FILE - Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green celebrates after scoring against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals in San Francisco, May 26, 2022. Green has a sprained left ankle that will sideline him for at least the first two weeks of training camp. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is back. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green will make his season debut on Sunday against the Houston Rockets, he told reporters on Saturday.

A left ankle sprain kept the 33-year-old out of the team's first two games. Green sustained the injury during a pickup game at the Chase Center around a week before training camp opened. The Warriors expected him to miss four-to-six weeks as he recovered.

He ended up missing all five of the Golden State's preseason contests and was eventually cleared to return to practice on Oct. 22, which only gave him two days to prepare for opening night. Head coach Steve Kerr described the injury as "lingering" when announcing the forward would miss the team's regular-season opener against the Phoenix Suns. Golden State lost that game, 108-104.

The Warriors are set to play the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday and Green hopes to play in both games of the back-to-back, he added.

"I got goals," Green said via ESPN. "Not exactly sure what they are yet, but I got to play in 65 games."

That was likely a reference to the new rules the league introduced this season, which require players to participate in 65 regular-season games to be eligible for postseason awards.

It's unclear whether Green will resume his usual starting role, or come off the bench. With the offseason addition of Chris Paul, Kerr didn't fully address questions about the lineup.

"We basically have six starters the way I look at it," Kerr said in September. "Only five can go each night."

Green is obviously an important member of the team's veteran core. He averaged 8.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and a steal last season.

After declining his $27.5 million player option, he agreed to return to his longtime team on a four-year, $100 million contract in June.

He will look to win his fifth NBA title with the Warriors this year.