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Warriors’ Russell (thumb) returns to starting lineup

All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell returned to the Warriors lineup Wednesday night after missing nine games with a sprained right thumb, giving Golden State’s injury-ravaged backcourt an important boost.

Russell worked out in the morning shootaround before the game against Charlotte, getting final clearance to make his return. Russell was named an All-Star for the first time in his five-year career last season. He’s averaging 24.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.7 assists in his first season in Golden State.

Warriors forward Draymond Green, who was ruled out of Monday night’s game against the Thunder with a sore right heel, also returned to the starting lineup Wednesday.

Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry is out until at least February with a broken left hand that required surgery, while Klay Thompson is recovering from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in a Game 6 NBA Finals loss to the champion Raptors.

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