Klay Thompson Return: Analyst Reveals Why Warriors’ ACL Tear Is Complicated

Klay Thompson, Warriors

Getty Klay Thompson, Warriors

Golden State Warriors shooting guard, Klay Thompson has been sidelined since the 2019 NBA Finals.

Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6 of last seasons Finals against a Kawhi Leonard-led Toronto Raptors squad.

It is likely that Thompson could sit out all of this season.

Thompson’s injury during the NBA Finals was the most significant of his career.

Thompson carried Iron Man status prior to tearing his ACL tear. For those keeping score at home: prior to the NBA Finals he’d played in at least 73 regular season games in each of his past five All-Star seasons.

That’s a major blow to a Warriors team that currently holds a 5-24 record and are sitting in last place in the NBA’s Western Conference.

In addition to their record, the Dubs lost Kevin Durant in free agency this past offseason. Additionally, Steph Curry succumbed to an injury to his hand and second metacarpal of his index finger. The Warriors stated last month that Curry will miss at least three months but is expected to make a full recovery.

As for Klay Thompson, here’s the million dollar question:
Should he sit out for the season?

This summer, Thompson signed a five-year contract with the Warriors that will pay him $190 million through 2024.

In an article by Heavy’s Sean Deveney in September, Deveney suggests that Thompson should sit out for two years.

Deveney got that estimation from Dr. Tim Hewett, a consultant who spent the bulk of his career studying the biomechanics of the knee for the Mayo Clinic. Hewett is and as the director of Ohio State’s Sports Health and Performance Institute

“People don’t like to hear it but it does not change the facts,” Dr. Hewett told Deveney.

“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.”

In a recent interview on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, I got more clarity on Thompson and his injury from Sean Deveney.

Check out a snippet from our interview below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Sean Deveney on the line with Scoop B Radio. Author of the 2012 book, Win like Lin. Based on the days of him being a New York Knick. Sean you wrote something recently about Klay Thompson and you’ve talked to a doctor. Who advised Klay Thompson to basically sit out for two years rather than sitting out one year. I tore my ACL, I didn’t play in the NBA and don’t have year round medical service but I definitely felt better in year two. When you look at Derrick Rose comparability do you think that Derrick Rose would’ve been better sitting out for two years like the doctors advised Klay Thompson to do?

Sean Deveney: He went through the recent studies being done not just on basketball players but on football, rugby players, football players in Australia, he went everywhere and studied these injuries and saw how athletes came back. The two things that standout are one is this player does comeback that if a player wants to comeback in 7 months like Klay has said he wants to do he thinks that that’s a push. I don’t think the Warriors will let him do that. But if you come back in that first year you’re numbers are not going to be the same, you’re going to struggle. The reason you’re going to struggle is that the ACL isn’t healed it takes 18-24 months for the little wrap that they put on for it to heal that ACL and make it solid. It’s kind of mush so you’re playing on a ligament that still isn’t done baking it’s like pulling out the cake when it’s only halfway done. You don’t want to do that so that’s the first thing the second thing is you chances of re-injury in that first year are astronomical and when I say astronomical it’s only a 10% chance difference in that first year. When you consider what’s at stake 10% is a lot. That’s a high reinsorise of reinjury. That was the doctor’s point and Klay pushing himself to come back that’s something that’s definitely risky.