Klay Thompson’s long-awaited return to the Golden State Warriors is growing ever-closer, a new report indicates.
After he spent two full seasons away from the team after a pair of back-to-back major injuries, the Splash Brother is reportedly ready to return to practice in the near future and eyeing a return to action before the end of this year.
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Thompson’s Return Grows Closer
According to Stadium’s Shams Charania, Thompson is ready to take a major step toward returning as he could be cleared to practice within the next month. He has been gradually working his way into more intensive basketball activities, but had not been cleared for practice. Charania reported that once Thompson can get back into practices, the Warriors will need to determine the pace to ramp him up and then circle a date on the calendar for his return.
“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,” Charania reported. “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.”
There could already be a potential date for Thompson’s return. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported back in August that he appeared to be on pace to play again just before the end of the calendar year, with the Warriors potentially looking at the Christmas Day game against the defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns.
Warriors Hopeful for Season
While the Warriors have long been waiting for Thompson’s return — and still stinging after two straight seasons falling short of the playoffs — Charania noted that there are some high hopes due to the play of Jordan Poole
“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,” Charania said of Thompson’s return. “Jordan Poole has been playing amazing basketball so far in the preseason, so there is hope for this Warriors season.”
Poole split time between Golden State and the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz last season, but came on strong in the second half of the year, becoming a top scoring threat off the bench and starting for Steph Curry while he was out with a tailbone injury.
Poole has picked up right where he left off this preseason, averaging 23.3 points per game while hitting 40% of his three-pointers. Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey noted that Poole — who is expected to start on the wing until Thompson is ready to return — is likely the league’s best player this preseason.
“They don’t give out a preseason MVP. If they did, it’s hard to imagine many people caring,” he wrote. “But Poole would be at or near the top of a make-believe MVP ladder right now. And after what they saw during Poole’s first season, the continuation of his upward trajectory should have Golden State fans feeling giddy.”