Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson was cleared to be a full-time participant in practices on November 21 and is trending toward a potential return the week before Christmas Day. The three-time champion hasn’t played since Game 6 of the 2019 Finals due to an ACL and Achilles tear.
The Warriors want Thompson’s first back game to be at home so fans can serenade him with love. However, according to the sharpshooter, it’s hard to gauge when he plays again.
Klay Thompson doesn’t know when he’ll be back
Thompson has widely been expected to make his return by Christmas, but he revealed while live-streaming on Instagram that an exact date remains unknown.
“When am I gonna be back? Hopefully, within the next few weeks, man. That’d be really nice,” Thompson said. “Maybe a month. It’s hard to gauge.”
Thompson hasn’t suffered any setbacks in his rehab and is in tremendous shape. While Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has been impressed by what he’s seen from Thompson in practices, he knows the next few weeks are going to be highly challenging for the five-time All-Star.
Steve Kerr on Klay Thompson: “These last few weeks will be probably tougher for him in a lot of ways”
Thompson’s increased stamina in practices has been noticeable. However, Kerr believes this last stage for the All-NBA guard will be tough mentally and physically.
“I think the increased stamina that we’ve seen over the last couple weeks, where he is now compared to his first scrimmage when we were on the road a couple weeks ago, it’s pretty dramatic,” Kerr said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “The improvement will be more gradual now as he continues to get stronger and more conditioned. But these last few weeks will be probably tougher for him in a lot of ways, mentally and physically, just because maybe the improvement won’t be quite as dramatic.”
One of the best shooters in NBA history, Thompson averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 46.7% from the field and 40.2% from beyond the arc during the 2018-19 season. The Warriors can’t wait to get the two-way guard back in the lineup since they’ll become even more dangerous. Golden State has the best record in the NBA and looks primed for a deep postseason run after missing the playoffs in 2020 and 2021.
Warriors could win fourth title in Stephen Curry era this season
The Warriors are 19-3 through their first 22 games. They have the third-best scoring offense and the No. 1 scoring defense, and Stephen Curry is third in the NBA in points per game. Even though Thompson will be rusty when he first returns, the Warriors could cruise through the regular season once he gets his legs underneath him.
Thompson has career averages of 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. He’s 13th in NBA history in 3-point field goal percentage and 21st in 3-point field goals. After not making the 75th Anniversary Team, the future Hall of Famer has a chip on his shoulder and is eager to prove the voters wrong, which means the Warriors are getting an angry Thompson back.
It’s going to be a special moment when Thompson is introduced to the Warriors crowd whenever he’s cleared to play. Both the player and organization are doing an excellent job of not rushing the return and should continue to air on the side of caution since Thompson’s long-term health is of vital importance.