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Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green reinstated after 12-game suspension

By Homero De la Fuente, CNN

(CNN) — Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been reinstated after serving a 12-game suspension, the National Basketball Association announced on Saturday.

Green was ejected from a 119-116 defeat to the Phoenix Suns on December 12 after spinning around and striking center Jusuf Nurkić in the face with his right arm, dropping him to the ground.

At the time, Green asserted the hit on the Suns big man was accidental, saying afterwards, “I am not one to apologize for things I mean to do, but I do apologize to Jusuf because I didn’t intend to hit him. I was just selling the call because he was grabbing me and pulling my hip, so I spun away and, unfortunately, I hit him.”

The NBA, however, indefinitely suspended Green beginning on December 14, “[taking] into account Green’s repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts.”

The 33-year-old’s suspension was his second of the season, also missing five games for placing Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock during an altercation in November.

As part of his latest suspension, Green was required to “to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play.”

According to the NBA, Green has had meetings with a counselor and has also on multiple occasions met with representatives from the league, the Warriors and the Players Association, and he will continue to do so throughout the season.

While it is unlikely Green will immediately return to the court as he will seek to gain game-level conditioning, the lifting of the suspension is welcome news for the Warriors.

Golden State suffered a big loss to its roster on Friday night when 12-time All-Star guard Chris Paul fractured his left hand in a tight win over the Detroit Pistons.

Paul is set to be away from the team for a significant amount of time as he will undergo surgery this week, so the return of a starter in Green will be a slight relief for head coach Steve Kerr as he seeks to get the team out of its slump and back over .500 for the year.

The Warriors (17-18) next play against the Toronto Raptors (14-21) at home on Sunday.

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