Connor Letourneau: Klay Thompson said he's running in the water. "It's good for my psyche," he said.
His father, former NBA player and current Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster Mychal Thompson, recently shared a Klay health update with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke. “All that he can do right now is just pool therapy, walking, stuff like that,” Mychal Thompson told Burke in an interview that will air Sunday during "Warriors Pregame Live." “He’s not going to be cleared to do any basketball activity for probably a couple months yet. It takes time with the Achilles. You’ve got to strengthen it and walk and get the tendon all [strong], but he’ll get there.”
“You can just see that he is just seething over there on the bench that he can’t help his team,” Mychal said. “He wants to be out there so bad. Next year when he comes back, guys who had to sit out a year or two, they will never take playing for granted again.”
Golden State Warriors swingman Klay Thompson said it "kills" him to be missing his second straight season, this time because of an Achilles tear, but the former All-Star said his rehab is coming along well and that he still plans on playing for "a long time." Speaking for the first time since suffering a season-ending right Achilles tear during a workout on Nov. 18, Thompson was in good spirits as he discussed the long process he faces.
"I'm living good," Thompson told NBC Bay Area during the Warriors' game against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. "To be back in the building that I'm so eagerly awaiting to play in. Just a little bored at times. Stuff's slow with trying to let my Achilles heal and get to the next stage, which is mobility work, but I'm feeling good. I'm happy to be with my teammates, obviously. "Unfortunately, I'm not playing. It kills me every day, but I plan on playing for a long time, and I don't want to have any mishaps come this rehab."
"Physically he's going to come around," Mychal Thompson told Cory Hepola of WCCO 830 in Minnesota. "He's got to be patient and do his rehab. He's encouraged to see how Kevin Durant, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Wesley Matthews, players like those guys who have suffered the Achilles injury and have come back 100 percent and as good as ever. He's also dealing with his knee, but his knee is fine. That gave him no problem and then he tore his Achilles during a workout. Physically, he's going to be fine, but emotionally is where it's tough. Mentally, having to sit out two straight years with a major injury when he's in his prime. That's very frustrating. I tell you one thing, it makes you appreciate being healthy and appreciate your job, even more, when you can't play for two straight years. He'll be back next year this time and he and Steph Curry will pick up right where they left off."
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson visited with Steve Kerr pregame. Klay told Kerr "the worst" of the Achilles rehab is behind him. Kerr: "He's going to be get into the pool next week and start running in the pool. He's very upbeat about everything."
The Warriors have made it clear to guard Klay Thompson that they’d like to see him around the team as much as possible this season. Thompson, who underwent surgery on his torn right Achilles tendon last month, is slogging through the early stages of his rehab process in Orange County. Golden State head coach Steve Kerr has kept in contact with Thompson and is optimistic that he’ll be around the team soon.
“It’s important for all of us, as well as Klay himself, that he’s around this season,” Kerr said. “Because of last year's absence and the pandemic, and just the whole bizarre year and a half it's been for him and our franchise, I would love to have him up here as much as possible. “That's the plan we've talked about, and I know he wants to get up here once he can really start in on his rehab. So, that connection is really important. Klay is such a huge part of our team. I want our young players to feel his presence, and I want Klay here working with our training staff and getting on the court with our team as soon as he can. I think that will be important.”
The Warriors believe that the locker-room camaraderie will help him stay in good spirits as he navigates his second year away from games. But perhaps just as importantly, Golden State thinks a young roster can benefit from seeing Thompson on a regular basis.
Anthony Slater: Warriors expect Klay Thompson to be around the team soon, Steve Kerr says. Has been doing his early stages of Achilles rehab privately. Kerr: "I'd love to have him up here as much as possible. That's the plan."
Former President Barack Obama is pulling for injured Warriors star Klay Thompson.F "Listen, I can't wait for the season," Obama told Steph Curry at the end of their Instagram Live interview promoting the former president's recently released memoir, "A Promised Land." "Give Klay my love and respect. I can only imagine what he's going through."
Wes Goldberg: Steph says Klay's injury "hasn't killed his spirit." "Our job as his teammates and this organization is to be there for him and make things as normal as possible around the game and around the locker room to take his mind off the day-to-day grind."
Mark Medina: Stephen Curry on losing Klay Thompson for another year: "It's tough. There was no way around it. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation with getting him back." Steph called Klay's latest injury "a gut punch."
Much as it’s tempting to move on from that awful moment, an understanding of the prelude to Klay’s injury might give clues as to his future prognosis. Thompson was on his way to completing his lengthy ACL injury rehab when he tore the Achilles in his other leg at that pickup game in Los Angeles. “One of the biggest things that the therapy team and the medical staff are looking at when he’s recovering from his ACL surgery are the presence of any asymmetries,” Sutterer said. “So, let’s say, for his ACL, his left knee can’t quite hit full extension. If he’s able to straighten his right leg all the way, now you’ve got an asymmetry. That asymmetry is going to put you at risk of other types of injuries. Now it’s impossible to say because we don’t know why the Achilles happened, but any time you have asymmetries in your body, from the strength in one quad to the strength in the other quad, to the flexibility in one ankle compared to the other ankle, it’s an issue.”
“I think it depends on who’s defining full recovery,” Sutterer muses. “I think, no matter how good your rehab is, how great your surgery went, your tissues are always different after you’ve had a surgery. So, if the surgeon is saying a full recovery is expected, that probably means something different from the coach or the general manager saying full recovery because they envision full performance recovery, as opposed to full basic functional recovery, which is what a surgeon might be saying. “So, I think it certainly is possible that he can get back to a similar version of what his natural career trajectory would have been, but there’s no doubt that it will be the hardest thing he’s ever done on a basketball court in his life.”
Shams Charania: The Golden State Warriors have been granted a Disabled Player Exception worth $9.3 million due to the season-ending loss of Klay Thompson, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium . It expires on April 19.
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson underwent successful surgery earlier this morning to repair a torn right Achilles, it was announced today. The surgery, performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel in Los Angeles, is expected to keep Thompson sidelined for the entire 2020-21 NBA season. He is expected to make a full recovery.
In an interview with the Bay Area News Group, coach Steve Kerr said had it not been for Thompson’s injury, the Warriors may not have used the trade exception at all this offseason. “It 100% triggered the Oubre trade,” Kerr said. “I’m not sure we were going to use the TPE if Klay had been healthy. It was more likely that we would have used the mid-level exception, maybe split it up. That’s what we were talking about anyway.”
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry said he was brought to tears after he received the news about teammate Klay Thompson’s season-ending Achilles tendon injury last week. “You feel for a guy who has worked so hard to get back on the court two-three weeks out of [training camp] and something like that happens,” Curry told The Undefeated on Monday. “You need to have a big-picture mentality when something like this happens. It’s easier said than done going through a lot of rehab, but there is a lot of time left in his career. We’re going to be there through it all.”
Curry learned about Thompson’s injury during a conference call with Warriors general manager Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr. “He’s the best 2-guard in the league,” Curry said. “To get that call was a gut punch for sure. A lot of tears. You don’t really know what to say because a guy like that is having to go through two pretty serious rehabs now. But at the end of the day, we have to have his back. We hope that he is around and a part of what we do through his rehab and staying connected with us.”
Stephen Curry: “We know we can compete with anyone in the league. It’s kind of crazy. We know how great Klay is. Don’t get me wrong. But we hear the chatter. ‘It’s the end of for us. This year is a wash. What are we going to do in the future?’ But we are in the moment right now. It’s kind of refreshing being in that category as guys that are chasing. We know [the Los Angeles Lakers] are the defending champs. We got to beat them. We’re ready for it.”
“In the middle of all that, Bob Myers is sitting next to me and he says, ‘a 911 call from Klay’s agent,'” Lacob told me Thursday on my podcast. “And I looked at him, I said, ‘what?’ And he picked up the phone and I could tell there was a problem and then he walked off to talk to him I think more privately, there were a lot of people in the room. And that’s when it happened. “He came back in. I mean, just devastating news for him and for us as an organization. Of course, it put us all in a situation where we had to react really quickly, not panic. But certainly we could’ve decided to change our approach literally two hours before the draft based on imperfect information. Not knowing exactly what had happened or how bad it would be.”
“First of all, we would never do that, as you know,” Lacob said. “We didn’t try to bag last season. Some really bad things happened and unfortunately, we were really bad; we have to admit that. And we wound up with the second pick in the draft, which I think is hopefully a transformational pick for our franchise. “But I can tell you when this happened and we thought what the consequences might be, if the injury was as bad as we thought, two hours before draft night, I thought about it for about 15 minutes. And then I got everybody together in the war room right before the draft and I addressed them. Bob also addressed them.
Shams Charania: The Golden State Warriors have applied for the Disabled Player Exception worth $9.3M due to the season-ending loss of Klay Thompson, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Bobby Marks: Just a note on GSW and Klay Thompson Golden State will likely get back $8.5M (and possibly more) from their Temporary Total Disability Policy (TTD) with Klay. They will receive $275K for every game he misses after 41.
At some point, Klay Thompson will be back on a basketball court. “He will be back and 100 percent,” his agent, Greg Lawrence of Wasserman, texted Thursday, after official word came that Thompson had torn his Achilles’ Wednesday.
Anthony Slater: Joe Lacob told @TimKawakami he gathered Warriors front office after Klay news: “I said: ‘We’re not tanking. If anyone’s even thinking that, get it off your mind. Forget it. Give me options. What can we do to make this team as good as we can make it?” Pod: theathletic.com/podcast/13-the…
Magic Johnson: Klay Thompson’s injury makes me sick to my stomach!! I hope he turns to league again soon 100% healthy. Just know Cookie and I are praying for you @KlayThompson 🙏🏾
Anthony Slater: Bob Myers said the Warriors will “have that answer soon” on the Disabled Player Exception. Said it’s another “vehicle” they may use. Tax bill isn’t done spiking.
Wes Goldberg: Myers on Thompson: "We're going to keep moving, we're never going to stop. But this hurts."
Marc Stein: The official, disheartening team statement on Klay Thompson's season-ending injury: Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson suffered a torn right Achilles tendon, an MRI confirmed today in Los Angeles. Thompson suffered the injury yesterday in a workout in Southern California.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Based on the type of tear, Thompson has been told to expect that he will make a full recovery, a source tells ESPN.
Bobby Marks: Golden State will now apply for the Disabled Player Exception worth $9.3M. The exception can be used to sign, trade for or claim a player to a one-year contract. The exception expires on April 17.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Source: Golden State’s Klay Thompson has suffered a season-ending Achilles tear.
It remains to be seen when Thompson will join them. The 30-year-old shooting guard suffered a right lower leg injury on Wednesday while playing pickup basketball in downtown Los Angeles with current and former NBA players. Thompson had to be helped out of the gym to his car. There are fears that the five-time All-Star may have torn his right Achilles tendon, several sources told The Undefeated. Warriors general manager Bob Myers says more will be known after an MRI on Thursday.
Anthony Slater: Bob Myers on Klay Thompson's injury altering roster plans: "We needed wing depth anyway." Said they'll address that in coming days.
Wes Goldberg: Bob Myers says Steve Kerr and a trainer are headed to LA tomorrow to be with Klay Thompson.
Kerith Burke: Bob Myers said re: Klay’s injury that he’s hopeful and concerned, “all those things combined.” He expects to know more tomorrow.
Drew Shiller: Bob Myers just now on NBC Sports Bay Area: “Spoke to Klay this afternoon. I don’t know guys. We don’t know the extent of it it ... it’s hard to say. I’m hoping for the best ... I can confirm the injury is to his right leg.”
Drew Shiller: Woj just now on ESPN: "There's still some optimism that Klay Thompson may not miss the entire season."
Klay Thompson plans to receive an MRI on Thursday, a person familiar with the details told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about Thompson's injury. “No other details are available at this time,” the Warriors said in a statement. “We will provide further updates as appropriate.”
Wes Goldberg: Wiseman on Klay Thompson: "It was down for me emotionally. But the team, we got his back no matter what."
Monte Poole: Klay Thompson's leg injury looked bad, according to two sources, but neither was ready assume catastrophic. The Warriors have significant decisions to make tonight/this week, so fingers are crossed as they wait.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Golden State G Klay Thompson will undergo testing within the next few days on a leg injury suffered in a workout in Southern California today, sources tell ESPN. The severity of the injury is unclear. Thompson missed the 2019-2020 season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
Klay Thompson: Klay Thompson was unable to place weight on his lower leg injury leaving the gym today, sources said. Everyone is hoping for the best.
Shams Charania: Warriors star Klay Thompson suffered an apparent lower leg injury today and is undergoing tests to determine severity, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
The Warriors hosted a voluntary minicamp in San Francisco from Sept. 23 through Oct. 6. It marked the first time you participated in competition since injuring your knee. How did it go for you? Klay Thompson: The first day I felt a little rusty. My jumper was going right. My jumper was going left. I’m getting beat back door. I’m getting beat on closeouts. The conditioning aspect was tough. And then by the time the rust gets off, you start playing basketball, moving around, seeing shots go in, it is like night and day. It makes you appreciate the game. Seeing my teammates was great. It was so fun being there.
Klay Thompson’s ACL surgery was now more than 15 months ago. He’s been cleared for full contact since the middle of summer. There was an expectation that this camp would be a chance for him to test that healed knee for the first time in an unrestricted 5-on-5 setting against NBA athletes. But the Warriors’ cautious medical staff opted against full clearance. Thompson participated in every part of the controlled portions of practice, including some full-contact 5-on-5 work, but whenever they switched to unconstrained scrimmaging, Thompson was held out. “He didn’t feel any soreness (all week),” Kerr said. “It’s mainly just easing back into playing this caliber of athlete. It’s been 470 days (since he has). He’s feeling really good. He’s healthy. Rick (Celebrini)’s not concerned at all about the injury. Everything’s healed really well.”
Thompson, by all accounts, shot it extremely well all week. He seems to be cutting and jumping without fear (video clip here). Kerr said he’s “looking really bouncy” and had a practice sequence in a controlled drill where he dunked off one foot and then “came right back down in transition and had a dunk off two feet.” His strength and rhythm aren’t all the way back, there’s some rust in his game, but as one coach told me: “He’ll be just fine. Least of our concerns.”
He did not, however, participate in unrestricted 5-on-5 scrimmages, including the Team Blue vs. Team White game on Thursday. “We’re taking it really slow with Klay,” Kerr said. “He’s basically taking part in all of practice other than the scrimmage. We did other drills that were live. We did some defensive drills, 5-on-5, more of a controlled scrimmage that he took part in. But at the end of practice scrimmage, we had him doing some 1-on-1 stuff with Leandro (Barbosa). That is the preferable sequence right now.”