Draymond Green Suffers Knee Injury vs. Rockets

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2017

SHENZHEN, CHINA - OCTOBER 05:  Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors as part of 2017 NBA Global Games China at Universidade Center on October 5, 2017 in Shenzhen, China.  (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors might have to play without Draymond Green after they announced the forward left Tuesday's season opener against the Houston Rockets with a left knee strain and wouldn't return.

Injuries haven't been much of a problem for Green in his NBA career, as he has appeared in at least 76 games in each of his first five seasons. This has been key for the Warriors, as the former second-round pick has become one of the most valuable players in the NBA.

The 27-year-old only averaged 10.2 points per game last season, but his impact goes well beyond his ability to put the ball in the basket. Not only was he named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, he was one of only four players to average at least seven assists and seven rebounds per game, per Basketball Reference.

The other three finished first, second and fourth in MVP voting.

Although he is sometimes overshadowed on a team with three other All-Stars, Bleacher Report's Dan Favale listed Green as the No. 11 overall player in the NBA coming into the season.

Golden State is loaded with talent, but his impact all over the court is irreplaceable. Versatile rookie Jordan Bell has the best chance to fill Green's role and should see increased minutes in the short term.