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Alfonzo McKinnie is back

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After a surprisingly long absence, the valuable bench piece is returning to the lineup.

NBA: Preseason-Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have been hit hard by injuries this year, and, at the moment, they’re battling a serious lack of depth. But thankfully some reinforcements are on the way, as Alfonzo McKinnie will return for Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It will be McKinnie’s first game since he played just over 12 minutes against the Houston Rockets on November 15. His injury - soreness to his left foot - had some parallels to the injuries sustained by Steph Curry and Draymond Green, in that it didn’t appear serious, but kept him off the court for a surprising amount of time. In all, McKinnie missed nine games due to the injury, and the Warriors had a losing record during that stretch.

Not surprisingly, he’s happy to be back on the court.

McKinnie’s return means a lot for the Warriors. The team has been struggling to generate three-point opportunities, and the wing’s ability to take, and make threes will help out. It also takes some of the pressure off of Damion Lee (who has averaged 17.0 minutes per game since McKinnie’s injury), and may allow the team to send Lee or Marcus Derrickson back to Santa Cruz, to preserve some of their eligibility for later in the season.

And for a team currently on the back end of a five-game road trip, McKinnie’s return should certainly boost the energy levels.