Golden State Warriors star guard Klay Thompson was expected to return from his ACL injury sometime after the All-Star break, but he might sit this season out.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Logan Murdock that Thompson is “unlikely” to play this season.
Thompson suffered a left ACL injury during Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June. Kerr said Thompson is at the point of his recovery where he can shoot, but he can’t run or cut.
“You have to look at it realistically,” the Warriors coach said. “I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it’s a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.
“We’ve kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. … April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.
Kerr gave perspective with Thompson’s injury. The NBA regular season ends in the middle of April, about two months from the year mark of Thompson’s injury. He’s important for the Warriors because of his great shooting and defense, but he shouldn’t be rushed back.
Thompson and the Warriors should allow the knee to heal and strengthen as much as possible. Also, Thompson will have to get back into game shape. He’ll need to get used to playing in game settings again, and he’ll need to trust that his conditioning is enough for him to perform at the high level he’s played at for the past few years.
The Warriors begin their regular season Thursday at home against the Los Angeles Clippers.