One of the largest early hurdles for the Warriors’ long offseason has been cleared. Klay Thompson, nearing the one-year anniversary of his left ACL surgery, has been training without restriction on his healed knee, sources told The Athletic. He received the final medical clearance a couple weeks back and has been ramping up his workouts since, including a high-octane session on Thursday.
This doesn’t mean Thompson could compete in an NBA game right now. There are many conditioning checkpoints still to be met. Remember how long it took the Warriors to clear Steph Curry for a return from a broken bone in his left hand back in early March? That wasn’t about his hand, which had been medically cleared for full basketball activity for weeks. It was about his entire body needing to rev back up into its traditional basketball shape.
That’s where Thompson is at. He’s essentially reached the finish line of his left knee rehab, as medically approved by his physician. If it were midseason, Thompson would be getting his body ready for a targeted return. But it’s not midseason. It’s not even anything like a traditional offseason. Thompson isn’t really limited physically, he’s limited by the world’s current human-to-human contact restriction.
Now that it has been over 11 months since Thompson went under the knife, is he back to 100 percent yet? "I don't know," Warriors general manager Bob Myers told reporters on a Monday afternoon conference call. "I think we got to take a look at him when we see him. There's different versions of 100 percent. "Until we kind of test him and see him and start him in 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 -- and the pandemic hasn't allowed him that opportunity to do those type of things ... there's no rush clearly. "As far as I have heard, he's recovering fine. There hasn't been a setback. But one thing that's been a little bit difficult in the last couple months is our ability to oversee those things as much as you might normally would."
Wes Goldberg: Myers doesn't know yet if Klay Thompson is 100% healthy. Has heard that he's rehabbing fine, but hasn't been able to evaluate him in person. "There's no rush, clearly."
How’s Klay holding up and what’s the latest on his health? Thompson: "He’s frustrated he can’t work out with his teammates. He just works out on his own like everybody else. He can’t work out with other guys in groups. You have to find a place to shoot on your own and do your own exercises. These guys know what to do. You run your sprints alone and can find an empty gym. Get a key to an empty gym and go shoot. All of these guys have connections to a gym." Is he fully healthy? Thompson: "I don’t know. He’s walking around fine. Who knows if he’s cleared to play. He has to get that clearance from his doctors and the Warriors. They haven’t talked about that yet." (Before the NBA suspended the season on March 11, the Warriors had only cleared Thompson for light shooting drills).
95.7 The Game: “He says he’s feeling great and he’ll be ready to go at full speed next year.” Mychal Thompson provides an update on Klay. "He's feeling good, he's working out on his own, he's doing all of his drills. He says he feels good, he walks around without any kind of limp, no kind of soreness."
He was quite visible on the bench at most home games, but in the Warriors’ day-to-day activities, Klay was a lot less present than Curry has been. Obviously, Klay had his ACL rehab and the frustration of knowing that he couldn’t play this season. And maybe that leads to a very energetic Klay Thompson season in 2020-21. “It’s been a really, really hard season for Klay,” Kerr said. “He loves to play basketball so much and just not being able to play has crushed him. And so he was, unlike Steph, over the last couple, few months, he hasn’t been around as often as Steph was. I was OK with that just because it was so frustrating for Klay just to be at practice watching and not really being able to do anything.
“Finally over the last few weeks he was able to start shooting with our guys, running through some drills and he was so happy to be out there. But for much of the season, it was just about getting away and not torturing himself by watching us play. He’s going to be so ready to play next year and so excited and the rehab is coming along really well, so I have no doubt that assuming everything starts in September and October like it usually does that Klay and Steph will be in great shape and ready to roll.”
That means a young player like Eric Paschall, stationary in a San Francisco apartment, can’t come in to begin the early stages of a planned summer reconstruction of his jumper. It means Klay Thompson must shift his ACL rehab away from the facility with which he’s most comfortable. “Yes, it’s hard,” Myers said of Thompson’s rehab. “Privately, by himself. Maybe with one of our trainers individually at his house. Even my own hip surgery recovery, anything you can do without interacting with somebody. … If you don’t have your own gym (in your house), there’s not really anywhere to go. Most guys don’t have a basketball gym in their house. They might have a weight room.”
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr said Klay Thompson has been joining in non-contact drills and shooting drills. The Warriors don’t expect him to do any contact work this season.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson part of team drills post practice today. First time we’ve seen it like this.
Anthony Slater: Warriors practice opens, Klay Thompson in the weight room, mimicking (in a controlled setting) the full lift he’d get on a full speed jumper. First time I’ve seen him really bend and rise high on that knee.
Mark Medina: Warriors formally determine that Klay Thompson won't return at all this season. But Warriors expect Thompson to return when training camp begins in late September. They had anticipated early this season the possibility Klay wouldn't play at all this season
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on the possibility of Klay Thompson returning in time for the Tokyo Olympics: "It’s still a possibility. We haven’t really discussed it."
Marc Stein: The Warriors have this week made it official and fully ruled out Klay Thompson (left knee) for the remainder of the season, league sources say
Marc Stein: Thompson, though, remains in contention for a spot on the United States' 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics. @usabasketball will finalize that roster in June and Klay is said to be making good progress in his recovery from a torn left ACL in Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals
Jay King: Steve Kerr said Steph Curry will “almost for sure” play again this season. Said he and Klay Thompson will play when they’re ready and the Warriors will try to win every game that they can.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson said he hasn’t ruled out playing this season, but will be patient: “You may not have seen me much, but I’ve been working.” Full quote on his rehab update here.
Wes Goldberg: Steve Kerr on Klay Thompson: “It just feels good to see him out there on the floor, and to see him feel like he’s getting closer... He’s pretty far down the path (to returning).” Said he’s asked both Steph Curry and Klay to be around the team more.
Kerith Burke: Word from the Warriors is Steph will be reevaluted on Feb 1 and Klay will be reevaluted at the All Star Break regarding their injuries and potential playing dates this season.
Ali Thanawalla: Klay in full uni and headband hitting fadeaway trey on pass from Zaza. Warriors practice is lit. 🤣
Logan Murdock: Klay’s been doing this over the past couple weeks. Each pregame, he’ll dress up in full uniform and go through his workout as the team prepares for its game. He’s sooooo ready to be back.
First, host Ernie Johnson asked Thompson whether he planned on returning this season, referring to reports from earlier this week that head coach Steve Kerr was skeptical that the shooting guard would play in the inaugural season at Chase Center. "I feel great," Thompson said. "At this stage of the rehab, I started jogging, running, putting up a lot of jumpers — which are going in at a high rate, still, so that's a good sign."
Connor Letourneau: Kevon Looney on Klay Thompson returning this season: “If he comes back, great. If he doesn’t, that’s good as well.”
Ever since Klay Thompson tore his left ACL four months ago, the Warriors guard has held out hope that he could return this season in time for a potential NBA playoff run. His coach, however, isn't betting on that timeline. "It's unlikely that he's going to play this year," Steve Kerr recently told NBC Sports Bay Area in an exclusive interview that will air at 1 p.m. PT Tuesday in “NBA Season Tip-Off,” only on the MyTeams app. "So we have to understand that."
Kerr, who tore his ACL in college, believes Thompson will be on the same timeline as those players. "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.
Wes Goldberg: Klay Thompson on the court at UCLA helping teammates get up some post-practice shots. pic.twitter.com/tGJBSCbvBl
The four-time All-Star has no plans to sprint back to the Warriors or set any kind of speed record for returning to the NBA after undergoing ACL surgery. “No, I'm going to do what the team says,” Klay said Monday. “I've done my due diligence on rehabs and ACL injuries, and the last thing you want to do is rush back, especially for a player like me who wants to play until he's in his late 30s. I want to play at a high level until that point, too." “As much as it kills me not to be on the court, patience is a virtue, and rushing back would be not very smart.”
Anthony Slater: Bob Myers said Klay Thompson is doing fine, but the Warriors won't give a real update until the All-Star break.
Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors says he would like to play for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics. One problem: Thompson should not play high-level basketball at all, not for two years. At least that’s what the science says. A paper presented by Dr. Tim Hewett, a consultant who spent the bulk of his career studying the biomechanics of the knee for the Mayo Clinic and as the director of Ohio State’s Sports Health and Performance Institute, and Dr. Christopher Nagelli of the Mayo Clinic, finds that athletes who suffer ACL tears should not return to action for two years.
“Please do share that with Klay,” Dr. Hewett, who has consulted with NBA trainers in the past, told Heavy.com. “This is not my opinion. People say to me, ‘Well, that is your opinion, there are other opinions.’ No, I deal in science and I deal in fact. People don’t like to hear it but it does not change the facts, and that facts are that you’re at risk for re-injury before two years and you won’t be the same player in the first year.”
“I think about that every day,” Thompson said. He sat straight up and shook his head. “That’s just the humbling part of sports — when you feel like you’re at your best, something traumatic can happen. But I honestly felt like I was at the peak of my NBA career up to that point. I was at my best. The way I was shooting the ball, the way I was playing defense. I felt like I was one of the best players out there. In past series, or Finals, you know, I’ve been able to defer. But in that series, I felt like I was just, like, as close to unstoppable as I’ve ever been.”
The worst part hasn’t even come yet. Thompson knows it. “Honestly, we’ll see in two weeks when I see my teammates out there playing,” Thompson said of the difficulty of rehab. “But, as of right now, it’s easy to lock in and focus on my rehab every day because that’s all I have. I don’t have games. I don’t have to go to the arena. But when that starts, I know it’s going to be a very tough challenge. It’s going to be really hard.”
Despite their intentions, Curry and Thompson playing in the Olympics can’t be considered a lock. If the Warriors somehow went on a deep run into the postseason, it would be their sixth straight year doing so. Turning around and going to Japan to play more might be untenable. Thus, an early postseason exit might be required for their hopes to be fulfilled. Plus, Thompson’s availability will be contingent upon his recovery from a torn ACL.
Mychal Thompson recently talked about his son's rehab from a ruptured ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider podcast. "He's walking normally and he's very optimistic and enthusiastic about getting back late next season," Thompson said. Thompson said Klay probably won't be on the court doing full-court drills until late December or January. That would fall on the early side of the typical recovery period for ACL surgery, which is six to nine months.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the procedure on Thompson at the Kerlan Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, and Thompson said he is on track to return to the court at some point next season. “That’s my goal,” Thompson said. “I doubt I’ll be back before the All-Star break, but I want to be back this season.”
“My season is obviously going to start a little differently,” Thompson said. “I’m going to be on offseason mode for a little bit until I can run again. With Kevin leaving and DeMarcus leaving and losing Andre and Shaun, the parity in the league is back. Everyone was trying to catch up to the Warriors the past five years, but now teams have closed the gap, if not taken that leap, so for us getting D’Angelo was huge because in my absence, he’s a proven All-Star and a 20-point guy and great play maker.”
Klay Thompson said he doubted he would be back before the All-Star break. "I've heard varying opinions about, especially medically, I don't want to rush it 'cause I want to play until I'm 38, 39, 40 years old," Thompson said. "That's my plan, especially because the way I can shoot the ball. I would love to see the floor this season. I don't know when that is."
"I knew I did something. But I've never had the severity of an ACL injury or an injury that bad," Thompson told ESPN's Cari Champion in an interview during a "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" promotional event in Los Angeles. "So me personally, I didn't think it was that bad initially. My adrenaline was so high being Game 6, whatever. I thought I sprained my knee; that's all I thought it was. But when I went back to the locker room, it swelled up a lot, didn't feel right. It's just not a good feeling when you feel helpless and the team's out there competing."
“We obviously had bumps in the road, but nothing as traumatic as what me and Kevin went through. So it was humbling, but the Warriors showed their loyalty and their respect for me, offering me that five-year deal," Thomson said of his new $190 million deal. "Jumped on that as soon as I could, just because the history with this team and the franchise it would be so hard to leave. And the feeling of, you know, unfinished business, getting that close in the Finals, or to the fourth championship -- tasting it -- just being out of reach. It's the pain of sports, but it's what keeps me motivated."
Logan Murdock: Warriors GM Bob Myers said there’s no update on Klay Thompson’s ACL other than surgery. Myers said he’ll visit Thompson in Los Angeles soon.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Agent Greg Lawrence emphasizes recovery window of 5-to-7 months after Thompson's ACL surgery is tilted toward back end of that timetable: "While we are optimistic on a return as quickly as possible, Klay and the team are committed to taking the necessary time with the process."
He started to make his way back to the Golden State locker room, but as you all remember ... the machine returned to the court. "Somebody went out and grabbed us in the tunnel and said, 'If he doesn't shoot these free throws, he can't come back,' Warriors GM Bob Myers explained Thursday on 95.7 The Game. "And Klay didn't even wait for an answer. He just walked back on the court.
"And I grabbed him and I said, 'Listen, man. If you're gonna shoot these free throws...' -- because we didn't know what it was at that time, we had no idea, he hadn't been examined -- and I said, 'We don't know what this is, shoot the free throws, don't move. Just shoot the free throws and stay there.' "[Klay said] 'OK, all right. I got it.' [He] shoots the free throws and starts running back (laughter). I said, 'What are you doing?' Maybe that's my own fault for trusting. "But that's the competitor in the guy."
Andre Iguodala: “I'm confident in us. Klay will be back in February I hope. He's a fast healer. We're going to have another run at it. It's not over."
Ryan Wolstat: Green on Klay Thompson injury: Said he thought Klay would go for a one-handed dunk. When he saw it was two thought he could get the block and got a piece of it. Thought it was pretty clean but knows that's a fair time to call a foul. Warriors told him they know he isn't dirty.
Michael Grange: Danny Green says Draymond and Iguodala told him they knew the play on Klay Thompson was clean, not intentional; has reached out to Klay through channels.
“Klay is such a polished specimen with his athleticism and his strength, I literally think this will be a small bump in the road for him for the next nine to 12 months as he rehabilitates it,” said Dr. Daniel Kharrazi, an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles who serves as the team doctor for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. “He should be able to get back to how he was before. “I know people are freaking out about his career, but I don’t think it’s going to affect his long-term outcome at all. I think he’s going to be back doing exactly what he was doing as soon as he’s done rehabbing his knee.”
The moments left Mychal Thompson feeling sleepless. It did not tamper his optimism, though. His son, Klay, tore an ACL in his left knee and walked out of the arena on crutches. Then, the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, hardly the ending they envisioned in their final game at Oracle Arena after winning three NBA titles in the past four years. That only leads to two questions. First, how will this affect Thompson when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 30?
“You have to ask Joe Lacob that one,” Thompson said about the Warriors’ majority owner. “That’s up to the Warriors. But Klay will be back. It’s unfortunate, but it’s kind of a routine injury. Nobody wants it. Guys are able to come back fully recovered from this injury.”
Second, did this mark the end of the Warriors’ dynasty? Not only do the Warriors have questions about Thompson. Kevin Durant is recovering from a surgically repaired right Achilles tendon. The Warriors otherwise have limited purchasing power and a No. 28 pick to bolster their team. Nonetheless, Thompson said that “Klay and Kevin will both be back to wreak havoc among the league.” Thompson also added “the Warriors are far from done.” As for Durant’s free agency? “I always have faith he’ll stay. This is the second-best organization you can play for. Of course, you know what the best one is,” said Thompson who played for the Showtime Lakers and remains a radio analyst for the team’s flagship station. “Why leave a great situation like Golden State? These guys are still going to be championship contenders for years to come.”
Connor Letourneau: Per his father, Klay Thompson will undergo surgery "as soon as possible" on his torn ACL in Los Angeles.
Thompson, who emerged as a vocal leader during the NBA Finals, tore his left ACL late in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 114-110 loss Thursday in Game 6 that gave the Toronto Raptors their first championship. Thompson is expected to miss up to nine to 10 months, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
“Even though Golden State had some tough injuries the last game and this game, they showed how much heart they have,” Raptors center Marc Gasol said. “What it means to be a championship team. They didn’t make any excuses. They kept playing.” Afterward, Warrior Stephen Curry sat at his locker appearing to be more pained about the team’s injuries than its three-peat hopes and days at Oracle Arena coming to an end. Most of his concern centered on the health of his fellow All-Stars Durant and Thompson. “It’s not good. Klay and KD are two dudes who are supposed to be walking into the best summer of their lives,” Curry told The Undefeated. “It was taken away from them just like that. It’s tough. It is tough. Two really good dudes.”
Jordan Bell: No man!!! This lost hurt but hearing about this killed me. Prayers up to you bro @KlayThompson
Adrian Wojnarowski: Golden State’s Klay Thompson has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, his agent Greg Lawrence tells ESPN.
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr said Klay Thompson told him on his way off the court: "Just a two minute rest and I'll be ready." Next thing Kerr heard Klay was done for the night, crutching out of the arena.
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr: "What matters is Kevin Durant is going to miss next season with an Achilles tear. What matters is Klay suffered a knee injury. We'll know more later. But it's just brutal, just brutal what these guys have had to deal with."
Golden State's run of injuries to star players continued in the third quarter of Game 6 when star guard Klay Thompson's left knee appeared to buckle in an awkward landing after a contested dunk attempt with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter.
Thompson remained down for a few minutes in significant pain, clutching at his leg. He was helped into the tunnel and headed for the locker room, but came back to shoot the free throws to put the Warriors ahead 85-80.
Blake Murphy: Klay Thompson says he was sore after Game 4 but feels great. Estimates he’s in the 80-90% range. More bothered by the loss than his hamstring.
Joe Vardon: Klay Thompson took the court just now to warm up, and the assembling Bay Area crowd let him know he’s appreciated. His streak of 120 consecutive playoff games was snapped in Game 3 by a bum hamstring
Connor Letourneau: For what it's worth, Klay Thompson is also listed as questionable tonight. Warriors expect him to play.
Meanwhile, big man Kevon Looney (costal cartilage fracture) might not be done for in this series after all. Thompson’s return was the most foreseeable, given the shooting guard’s durability and stubbornness against missing games. He was straining at Kerr’s and the medical staff’s leash Wednesday, even as he understood their safe-rather-than-sorry approach. “It just sucks missing a Finals game,” Thompson said. “It's the NBA Finals and this is what we work our whole lives for. But I would rather miss one game than an entire series. So, it wasn't the end of the world.”
June 28, 2022 | 3:09 am EDT Update
Jake Fischer on Jalen Brunson: From everything I’ve heard, it really does sound like things have shifted, and he is more more likely than not to become a member of the Knicks as opposed to the Dallas Mavericks.
“Kevin Durant was very loyal to Kyrie Irving through this process… So the expectation right now is that Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving will move forward for the Nets on this roster this year.” 🗣️ Adrian Wojnarowski
Nets Daily: Woj on KD: “Kevin Durant now has what he wants, which was Kyrie Irving back on the Nets season, so the expectation is that right now, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will move forward … but Kevin Durant hasn’t talked yet. has not expressed that publicly. We’ll wait and see.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Irving has until Wednesday at 5 PM to file the paperwork on his opt-in. The Nets can still move Irving as an expiring contract, but the opt-in means he’s no longer eligible to get the immediate long-term deal he wanted as part of a sign-and-trade.
Speaking via ESPN, Windhorst said Monday: “Let’s take a look at Miles Bridges. He’s not being offered, from what I’m told, a max contract from the Charlotte Hornets right now. So, he’s going to go out into the market place, starting on Thursday or Friday, and see if he can get that offer from somewhere else.”
The Athletic conducted a poll, asking 16 officials in NBA front offices what they would deem a fair number for Barrett in an extension this summer or fall. Responses ranged from $15 million to $30 million a year. No one advocated for the Knicks to give him the max. Exactly half of the responses were a nice, clean four years, $100 million, making it by far the most common proposal from the polled executives.