NBA rumors: Klay Thompson suffers season-ending Achilles tear

More on Klay Thompson Injury

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.
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.”
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.”

https://twitter.com/gswchris/status/1329237116048424960
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.
LeBron James: Praying a lot @KlayThompson is cool!! Like it’s super minor. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
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.”
Golden State Warriors swingman Klay Thompson participated Friday in his first full practice since tearing his left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. It had been 470 days since Thompson's injury and his return was a welcome sight for coaches and teammates who missed having him around. "It was great to have him out on the floor, in the locker room," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said during a video call with reporters. "Just his presence alone gave us a jolt of energy and excitement. Practice went well. This is the first practice coming off an ACL injury and a year and a half absence so I didn't expect him to be in top shape, in top form, and he was not, but he moved well and it's a good first step."
Thompson has mostly been out of the spotlight since the end of the Warriors' season in March, keeping his rehab and life private ... give or take a social-media post or a kayak trip. So, if you're wondering how Klay is doing heading into camp, his former teammate and current Warriors player mentor coach Leandro Barbosa has the latest. "He's very good," Barbosa said on the latest episode of the "Runnin' Plays" podcast. "He's my boy, ya know? He's happy. I haven't seen Klay for a couple years, and I went to his house [this week], we kind of hung out and we kind of talked. He was happy with me being here, I was happy being here, especially having a chat with him. But he's doing good, he's awesome, he's recovered."
Leandro knows very well what lies ahead for Klay. "I had the same injury that he has, my injury was a little worse than him," Barbosa explained. "The main thing about the injury that he has, is not about the knee, he's healthy and good, it's right here (in his head). The mindset. Not being scared going into the lane, to not be afraid to do what he used to do. I'll take a little time for him to have that fully, 100 percent confidence."
Most Warriors players — including Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney, Andrew Wiggins and Eric Paschall — are expected to participate. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr anticipates a “pick-up ball”-type atmosphere and doesn’t plan to teach specifics of the playbook — something he will save for training camp. In addition to daily workouts, which will include scrimmages, Kerr will invite guest speakers to talk to the team through RingCentral, a video conferencing software. “It’s really informal,” Kerr said in a phone interview Thursday. “It’s almost more important just to be together. … Much less structured than training camp.”
Nick DePaula: In a video to fans in China, Klay Thompson says, “My mind and body are 100% ready to get back on the court.” His new Anta KT5 sneaker launch is inspired by his trip last summer to a 400 year-old Chinese medical center in Shanghai and the treatment he received there.

https://twitter.com/NickDePaula/status/1280326967988908032
Kerr said he drove up from San Diego to watch Thompson work out in Orange County on Thursday, and the Splash Brother looked impressive putting up shots. "It was great to see him," Kerr told KNBR's "Tolbert, Kreuger & Brooks" on Friday. "He looked great. He was moving well and, as you would expect, just knocking down [shots]. So, he looked good. He's not playing 'live' yet, he hasn't done any contact stuff, but that's kind of the final step and there's obviously plenty of time for that. He's right on schedule, and everything's going well."
Kerr reiterated Friday that Thompson missing the entire season was a "demoralizing" experience for the All-Star guard. "Because if you love playing that much, then not playing is just devastating," Kerr said of Thompson. "He really struggled this year not being able to play, and just not knowing what to do ... because he couldn't really do a whole lot in rehab. There was a lot of rest in the beginning, and then the team would go out on the road. Klay loves to be part of the group, bashing on each other and joking around. I just think he really missed everything this year, the whole experience. So I know he can't wait to get back out there."
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.

https://twitter.com/anthonyVslater/status/1236021308799897601
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.
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.

http://twitter.com/anthonyVslater/status/1217312305047719937
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.
Ali Thanawalla: Klay in full uni and headband hitting fadeaway trey on pass from Zaza. Warriors practice is lit. 🤣

http://twitter.com/Ali_Thanawalla/status/1211371675024904192
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.

http://twitter.com/wcgoldberg/status/1184197153721159680
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.”
“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.”
"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."
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