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.”
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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.”
Mark Medina: Barack Obama to Steph Curry: “Give Klay my love.”
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.”
Mikal Bridges: Damn not Klay man 😪 praying for a speedy recovery 🙌🏾
Marco Belinelli: 🙏 @KlayThompson
Robert Covington: Damn @KlayThompson prayers up for a healthy recovery 🙏🏽🙏🏽
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.
Connor Letourneau: The Warriors’ official injury update: pic.twitter.com/OwR0Sn9F9f
Bam Adebayo: 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 @KlayThompson
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.
Ian Clark: 🙏🏾 for #11 .. come back even stronger bro
Jordan McRae: Damn I hope klay can get through this. Hate to see that
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.”
Jamal Murray: Praying for u bro🙏🏽 @KlayThompson
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.”
Chris Montano: Stephen Curry with the support for Klay Thompson.
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Prayers up for @KlayThompson 🙏🙏🙏
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September 18, 2021 | 2:39 am EDT Update
The Bulls’ offseason overhaul couldn’t have come at a better time, as Zach LaVine is on the final year of his contract with an extension yet to be signed. But if it were up to LaVine himself, he’s reportedly all-in on staying in the Windy City. That’s according to ESPN Chicago radio analyst David Kaplan, who’s heard from sources that the All-Star doesn’t want to go anywhere. Via ESPN 1000 FM: “He has told people that I know: ‘Hey man, if they want me here, I’m not going anywhere. I’m building this thing. I’m the first guy in the door. I wanna be part of this.’”
Is KAT’s trade value at all impacted by missing the playoffs yet again? If a Simmons deal can’t get done, would you think about trading him now, considering the likelihood that you may need to next offseason? — @JWeAnd1 Definitely no interest in trading him now. Towns will have plenty of value for the foreseeable future, barring a big injury. This is a big season. I think there will be more clarity, positive or negative, when 2021-22 concludes. Then the Wolves can make a real decision on how best to move forward. But Towns remains a focal point right now. That’s not changing anytime soon.
Morey will be in a similar position to Thibs in that rival executives will try to back him into a corner and wait for things to get really uncomfortable with Simmons, thereby driving down the asking price. But Morey is much more experienced in front office work than was Thibodeau, a coach to his core who had not yet started his third season as the lead decision-maker. Those around the league believe that if there is any executive able to stomach the circus that is sure to descend upon Philly, to block out the noise that comes with this kind of drama, it’s Morey.
Ben Simmons trade buzz has been one of the offseason’s hottest storylines, but president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and the 76ers have yet to pull the trigger in a deal involving the 25-year-old three-time All-Star. Will the Aussie wear the 76ers’ red, white and blue to start the season? By a wide margin, our panel’s vote projects Simmons to remain in Philly — at least until the season tips off on Oct. 19. 1. Philadelphia 76ers: 45%
Despite the on-paper match, ESPN’s NBA insider Zach Lowe took to his podcast to say there’s a slim chance of that actually happening due to the Clippers’ lack of interest in Russell Westbrook when he was available: “The Clippers were never interested in Russell Westbrook. They were a rumored Russell Westbrook trade in a few places whenever that happened. They were never interested. That was never a real thing. I think they value their optionality too much.” Lowe ultimately concluded, “I just don’t see it,” because, like Westbrook, Wall is over 30 and has a massive contract — $44 million due this season and a player option the following season for over $47 million.