Shams Charania: Another step in Klay Thompson’s return process: The Golden State Warriors assigned Thompson to G League Santa Cruz for increased practice reps, sources tell me and @Anthony Slater.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson and James Wiseman remained back in the Bay Area during this four-day Warriors road trip. Klay is increasing the intensity of his scrimmaging, Wiseman is still not yet cleared for 5-on-5 contact work.
Connor Letourneau: Klay Thompson on when he expects to come back: "I don't know. It's really hard to say. It's definitely a feel thing. ... Hopefully sooner rather than later because I am really excited to get back to balling."
Monte Poole: ‘Who knows when it will be. Hopefully first half of the season.’ — Warriors G Klay Thompson on his impending return Adds that he hopes it’s the first ‘trimester.’ He’s ramping up his minutes with each scrimmage.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson said his scrimmages have been 4-minute quarters. He will ramp up to 5-minute, 6-minute, 7-minute quarters the next couple weeks. Eventually plan is to get to 12-minute quarters within a month: "That's when I'll be approaching gameplay."
Connor Letourneau: Kevon Looney: "Klay looked good, especially for someone who’s been out that long. … We’re excited to see him get back."
Connor Letourneau: The Warriors brought in some people to scrimmage with Klay Thompson yesterday. "He looks good," Kerr said. "...It's just a matter of building strength and endurance, especially the endurance part. It just takes time."
Mark Haynes: Steve Kerr on Klay Thompson's injury update: "When I said I don't know where that came from, I was referring to when he was coming back...I probably just anticipated a question that didn't come, so that's my fault. I just wanted to make sure everybody was on the same page."
Nick Friedell: Kerr on Klay: “He looks good ... Klay is just so happy to be out there playing, competing.” Kerr says Klay did everything at practice today and it’s just a matter of building up Klay’s strength and endurance now.
Nick Friedell: Klay, rocking the 77 jersey, getting some shots up after practice. pic.twitter.com/zoeLDJag9O
The Warriors, a league-best 14-2, returned to San Francisco this weekend to good news. Klay Thompson came through well after a week of 5-on-5 scrimmaging and has been cleared to be a full-time participant in all future Warriors’ practices, sources tell The Athletic. Thompson is trending toward a potential return the week before Christmas Day, those sources said.
In-season practices aren’t the most intense. Veterans typically use off-days to rest, get treatment and watch film. So Thompson won’t spend the next week running through constant game speed reps with Steph Curry and Draymond Green. The full-team workouts are pretty light. But this is still a vital advancement in his ramp-up. The Warriors don’t have a game on either Monday or Tuesday. During off-days, they typically set up a scrimmage with players at the back end of their team rotation who need court work. Thompson is expected to join those scrimmages, matching him against other current NBA athletes in a full-blown, unconstrained contact setting for the first time since he suffered the first of two major injuries in June 2019 when he sustained a torn ACL. Thompson suffered a torn Achilles tendon last November.
Free agent and recent pro Dante Exum was among the players in this past week’s Thompson scrimmages, and sources said Thompson had strong showings in the five-on-five play. It was his first time running five-on-fives, albeit with players who are not currently playing on a pro team. Mychel Thompson, Klay Thompson’s older brother, has also been a featured presence as part of the return-to-play plan. It’s been 892 days since Klay Thompson has appeared in a game. His right Achilles tear came during the final stage of his left ACL rehab, so the Warriors — given the extended layoff and recent experience — have been extremely careful easing him back. Steve Kerr has mentioned multiple times his belief that Kevin Durant’s brilliant return from an Achilles injury is partially due to the 18-month gap between tear and return.
“(Brooklyn) did a smart job last year pacing him,” Kerr said of Durant. But Thompson is fully healed from both injuries. It’s now only about conditioning and rhythm, building his body back to game shape. The next month is essentially viewed as his training camp; the increasingly intense scrimmages will be his preseason. In controlled settings, Thompson’s been doing 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 contact for about a month and hasn’t shied away from the cameras, even going through his shooting routine on the main court pregame in a full jersey, an indication of how well he is beginning to feel. Early in camp, he was hesitant to be spotted, even telling a couple of cameras to stop filming.
Those viewing his recent workouts and scrimmages report encouraging shades of the Thompson of old — the shot as deadly as ever, the big guard physicality still a part of his game, though fatigue sets in quickly. Thompson has already warned fans to expect limited minutes upon his return, living in the 18-22 range to start and perhaps some back-to-back restrictions as he builds his stamina. “I'll be honest, I don't expect to come back balls to the wall, 38 minutes a night, guarding the best player, running around 100 screens,” Thompson said in March. “But I'm going to get to that point. I guarantee that."
Thompson will not debut in a road game. Kerr has said the organization wants to save that moment for Chase Center, which nails down a pair of likely dates to expect him back. The Warriors have three home games in early December. That appears too soon. They then go out East on a five-game trip, not returning until Dec. 20 for two home games.
Barring setbacks, either Dec. 20 against the Kings or Dec. 23 against the Grizzlies are expected comeback dates before the marquee matchup on Christmas Day in Phoenix. If Thompson does not return during that pocket of games, the Warriors also have two off days after the Christmas Day game prior to a Dec. 28 home game against the Nuggets. As with all return-to-play situations, it remains in flux, dependent on how his body responds to an increased workload. But that’s the landscape for a Thompson returns as December nears.
Anthony Slater: Here’s a full update on Klay Thompson and James Wiseman from Steve Kerr. -Klay has been playing 5-on-5, but “that doesn’t mean he’s gonna step on an NBA court next week” -Wiseman still hasn’t been cleared for 5-on-5 pic.twitter.com/F6W41gjHkf
Kerith Burke: Klay Thompson is playing 5x5 now, according to Allie LaForce.
“I love it,” Thompson told Sports Illustrated last week, through a defiant grin. “I love it. I hope people keep doubting us. I saw somebody on the TV the other day talking about, The Warriors aren’t contenders because they’ve had a soft schedule. Buddy, we got the MVP, a defensive player of the year. That kind of disrespect bothers me. We have so many champions, guys who have done it in the highest pressure moments, and you’re still gonna question our ability? I love it. But whatever. That’s what talking heads are paid to do.”
“We need Klay back,” Green said. “That will be a huge boost for us. But in the meantime, guys are stepping up, guys are playing well and we're in a good groove.”
Jordan Schultz: Source: Klay Thompson is making “steady progress” and is 5-6 weeks away from his long anticipated return. I’m told Klay is in “great shape” and close to playing 5s, which is paramount to him being cleared. The 11-1 #Warriors play at the #Suns on X-Mas Day.
So well, in fact, that he reportedly could return sooner than originally expected. As in, before Christmas. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski joined "NBA Countdown" on Wednesday, and reported an extremely exciting update on Thompson. "I'm told if he continues on his current course right now in rehab, that a target date for his return will be set probably within the next couple weeks," Wojnarowski said. "And it could be --there's optimism it could be as soon as December 20, December 23. The Warriors have home games before Christmas, and so the plan for Klay Thompson is to continue to ramp up. "The Warriors will go on a road trip in mid-December, and at that point, if Klay continues on this track, he'd go down and play with the Warriors' G League team. And the idea is, and the hope is, they'll have him back perhaps prior to Christmas."
According to NBA insider Brian Windhorst of ESPN, there is confidence Thompson will be at his best in his return to the floor. “The whispers around the league right now about Klay Thompson. They say he looks good. There is a real confidence in there that, especially by the end of the season, that Klay is going to be BACK back,” Windhorst said.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors coach Steve Kerr said James Wiseman and Klay Thompson will not go on upcoming road trip and will have a program in San Francisco to “ramp things up.” Still undecided when or if Wiseman will play for Santa Cruz.
Thompson narrated his long recovery in NBC Sports’ HeadStrong series, and argued that the Achilles injury he sustained was much harder to accept than the first one he got in the championship series against Toronto Raptors since he prepared so hard to finally play again. “For me, when it happened, it was hard to digest for a few months,” Thompson said. “It was hard, man. I can’t even lie to you, it was really really hard. Especially the second time around. The first time, I accepted it. Championship game, five-straight finals, stuff happens. The second time was just so unexpected. It was a week before the season. I was training so hard for like a year, year and a half actually.
Anthony Slater: I’ve heard he’s done some two-on-two and very controlled contact stuff. I’d expect him to get back into full practice at some point in the next few weeks or a month or so. I think the floating target is still around the mid-December range. November 25th will be the full 12-month mark from the Achilles surgery.
But there is reason for optimism on his progress, as Stadium's Shams Charania reported Thursday that Thompson could be cleared for full practice "over the next month or so." "From there it's just going to be about him ramping up, him rehabbing and continue to figure out at what pace do (the Warriors) want to bring him back and when do they feel comfortable with him back," Charania continued.
"It's not just going to be he gets cleared for practice after two major injuries and then just goes into playing. So, there will be a ramp-up period. I would look somewhere in the December-January range for his return. But the Warriors will be cautious. They've been doing a lot of data and science and leaning a lot on data and science, I'm told. So I would expect them to continue to do that. "But for him to be cleared for full practice over the next month, that is optimistic news. And then you have him back in the lineup. Jordan Poole has been playing amazing basketball so far in the preseason, so there is hope for this Warriors season."
Stadium: "I'm told Klay Thompson will be cleared for full practice over the next month or so." Our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania on the timetable for Thompson's return to the Warriors.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson doing some off the dribble work with Jordan Poole post practice. Klay even dunked twice. Showing some pretty good burst as he eases his way back.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson with the Warriors for their preseason opener in Portland tonight. Expectation is he will travel this season during late stages of Achilles comeback. Bob Myers and Joe Lacob also here for the preseason opener.
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr said Klay Thompson "basically did everything in practice today" since they didn't scrimmage or do much contact. "Klay looked great. Shooting the lights out."
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson on the state of his game: “I can make a lot of jump shots. Pretty good at defensive sliding. My timing is a little off. Reaction time’s not there. That’s being rusty two years. I anticipate in the next four weeks playing 5-on-5 again.” pic.twitter.com/Nk9YDlfyGL
Connor Letourneau: Klay Thompson: "I'm still in the middle of my rehab. I'm probably 75, 80% done with what I need to do."
Klay Thompson, Warriors (torn Achilles): The Warriors said in a statement this week that Thompson, who suffered his injury just before the start of camp last year, will participate in “controlled drills” during camp next week, has made good progress during his rehabilitation over the course of the summer “and is on pace to return for the 2021-22 season.” But he has not yet been cleared for full practices or live action. The team, per sources, will increase his workload as his body allows.
JD Shaw: The Warriors release positive injury updates on Klay Thompson and James Wiseman: pic.twitter.com/h3N9nIqScT
For most of Klay Thompson’s NBA career, the Golden State Warriors often described him as “no maintenance.” Why? Thompson consistently shattered shooting records. He played in nearly every game. And he rarely complained. But after experiencing two season-ending injuries in 2019-20 (torn ACL in left knee) and 2020-21 (ruptured right Achilles tendon), will Thompson prove in the 2021-22 season that he no longer requires such hefty repairs? “I would be optimistic that he’s going to be able to get back and compete at a high level again,” said Dr. Michael G. Ciccotti, director of sports medicine and research at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute and an outside consultant for the Philadelphia Sixers, Eagles and Flyers. “But his ability to perform precisely at where he was before? That is something that only time will tell.”
Although the Warriors haven’t given a timeline on Thompson’s return, medical experts said most players take around a year to improve their range of motion, strength and jumping abilities. That sets Thompson up for a possible return in November or December. “I think it would be harder for a player to come back from rupturing their Achilles first and then tearing their ACL second as opposed to how Klay’s injury was,” Kaplan said. “The Achilles tends to be the harder injury to come back from, tends to take a lot more rehab from and can be set back by a knee injury. Because Klay tore his Achilles tendon last, it gives him more time to recover and gives him a better ability to adapt.”
In this Club Shay Shay clip, the new Phoenix Suns big man JaVale McGee tells Shannon Sharpe what to expect in his former Golden State Warriors teammate Klay Thompson’s return: “I expect the old Klay. I can maybe see him slacking on defense in the first month because in the offseason you don’t get those reps. But offensively, he didn’t hurt his arm, so that boy is going to shoot.”
Now, after recovering from the torn ACL, subsequently tearing his Achilles and spending a year rehabbing one of the harshest injuries in sports, Thompson is ready to return this season for the Warriors. While many would feel cheated of having two years of their athletic prime taken from them, Thompson is different, always looking forward and believing there are big things in store when he re-takes the court for the Warriors. "Yeah, I'm balling out this season," Thompson said Thursday on his Instagram Live. "By the grace of God, I will be balling. Injuries are no fun, but it's part of sports. What can you do? ... All you can do is keep moving forward for real. ... I'm going to bounce back, that's a fact. I guarantee that."
"He's doing well in his recovery, but the Warriors are targeting that Christmas day game against the [Phoenix] Suns for his return," Shelburne said on ESPN's "The Jump" on Friday. "He could come back a little bit before that, but in terms of getting his conditioning right, they are targeting the Christmas day game against the Suns. I know that sounds a little late to people, but he was injured on November 18th, so this is 13 months from an Achilles injury."
Wes Goldberg: Does Bob Myers think the Warriors can contend next season? "With a healthy Klay Thompson, I think we're right there with everybody." Adds he doesn't expect Klay to be ready for the start of the season.
During his latest interview on ABC 7, Kerr talked about Thompson’s condition as the Warriors guard works his way back to game shape. The 31-year-old hasn’t played in the NBA since Game 6 of the 2019 Finals against the Toronto Raptors, when he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. His supposed return during the 2020-21 campaign was also delayed after picking up the Achilles issue during the offseason. “When Klay started running about three weeks ago, it was like the light was suddenly at the end of the tunnel. I could just tell a big change in his optimism and in his feeling of being part of the group–preparing for next season. These last few weeks have been great, he’s putting in so much work,” Kerr shared.
“With an Achilles [injury], those first couple of months are just painstaking in terms of just how slow everything comes, progress wise. So this is really exciting that he’s now on the floor and really starting to move,” Kerr added.
Wes Goldberg: Klay Thompson in an Instagram post says he's begun light on-court work -- running up and down the floor, shooting, etc.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson, from his boat, updating his patient rehab approach: "Hopefully (return) early next season. The Achilles is like a 12-month recovery phase. I also have to factor in my left knee. I don't want to come back and be half myself." Thompson had Achilles surgery on Nov 25
He sat out the 2019-20 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the finals against the Raptors and needing surgery. “He’s going to do everything in his power to get back to 100%, knowing what he’s been through the last two years,” Curry said. “There’s going to be a lot of support around to help him get there but whatever version of him comes back is definitely a boost. We’ll patiently wait for what that looks like.”
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."
January 15, 2022 | 9:32 pm EST Update
Joe Mussatto: Derrick Favors on trade talk: “I think every year I’ve been in the league, my name’s been in trade rumors … I’m pretty much used to it. I don’t really pay attention to it. I try to control what I can control. I try to, like coach says, keep my feet grounded where I’m at.”
Eric Nehm: Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer: “Giannis gets 17 free throws, but I think you could argue he could have 27 or 30 free throws. As a team, we had 35. I think you could argue we could have had 45 or 50.”
Josh Lewenberg: Nick Nurse on coaching against Kyle Lowry for the first time on Monday: “I assume that he’s gonna be ready to go and he’ll be hard to handle… I would imagine he’s gonna play super hard and he’s gonna get his guys ready, and when he does that good things happen, we know that.”
January 15, 2022 | 8:38 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: Nets say Kevin Durant is out for remainder of game vs. Pelicans due to left knee sprain.
Will Guillory: Kevin Durant just walked off the court after reaching down at his left knee. Walked straight to the locker room. Not sure what happened. Looked like he may have bumped knees with one of the Pels players.