Klay Thompson injury: Return timeline for Warriors star

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Klay Thompson was a vital part of three championship teams for the Golden State Warriors, but it’s been years since the star shooting guard has competed on an NBA court. Thompson tore his ACL during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, and hasn’t played since. That’s only one of the devastating injuries he suffered in his attempt to return to action.

The Warriors knew they would be getting Thompson back at some point during the 2021-2022 season. They just didn’t know when. Thompson’s impending return looms over the rest of the championship picture as the Warriors have gotten off to the best start in the NBA.

Golden State won 18 of its first 20 games to start the year. Stephen Curry is the front-runner for MVP. Draymond Green is a serious contender for Defensive Player of the Year. The depth has been improved, led by the veteran additions of Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter Jr., and the development of Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II. The Phoenix Suns are the only team in the league playing at the Warriors’ level right now. It’s scary to think about what they could look like once Thompson returns.

Why has Thompson been out for so long? When is he coming back? What will the Warriors look like when he finally does return? Let’s go through the other Splash Brother’s long awaited return to the floor.

Klay Thompson’s torn ACL hung over the 2019 NBA Finals

The Warriors entered the 2019 NBA Finals as a heavy favorite against the Toronto Raptors, but injuries derailed their chance to three-peat. Kevin Durant had suffered a right calf injury in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets, and didn’t make his debut in the Finals until Game 5. KD started Game 5 on a scoring binge, but eventually suffered a torn Achilles that took him out for the series and all of the following season after he signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

Thompson’s injury happened in the third quart of Game 6 with the series on the line. Klay was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee. He hasn’t returned to the court since it happened on June 13, 2019.

Klay Thompson tore his Achilles while rehabbing his torn ACL

Thompson missed the entirety of the 2019-2020 season while rehabbing his torn ACL. Curry suffered a season-ending hand injury only five games into the season and missed the rest of the year. The Warriors finished 15-50 and “earned” the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft, where they selected center James Wiseman.

There was optimism that the Warriors could be a contender again in 2020-2021 with the Splash Brothers set to return. It never happened: On Nov. 18, 2020, Thompson tore his right Achilles during a workout. He suffered the injury while taking a pull-up jumper.

The Warriors finished 39-33 in 2020-2021, but lost to the Lakers and Grizzlies in the inaugural play-in tournament and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Thompson has been rehabbing his Achilles ever since.

When will Klay Thompson return for the Warriors?

The Warriors still don’t have a target date for Thompson’s return, but at this point it’s seemingly only a matter of weeks.

Thompson was cleared to fully practice with the Warriors on Nov. 23. He’s been playing 5-on-5. During an Instagram live chat on Dec. 3, Thompson said his return could be in a few weeks or a month.

Thompson also posted this message to Warriors on Instagram regarding his return.

The Warriors face the Phoenix Suns on Christmas day in the battle of the two best teams in the NBA so far. Will Thompson — who turns 32 years old in Feb. — be back for that game? We can only hope.

Whether Thompson is back for Christmas, or his return comes slightly after, we know the Warriors star will be returning soon. A league-best Golden State team is about to get even better.





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