Klay Thompson is making significant progress in his return to the court, the Golden State Warriors general manager said this week.
Thompson has been spending the past few months rehabbing the Achilles injury that ended his 2020-21 season before it began, and GM Bob Myers said the missing half of the Splash Brothers is putting in some hard work to return.
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Myers Praises Thompson
In a video conference call with reporters on Friday, Myers had some praise for Thompson and the efforts he’s putting in to come back from the major injury. According to Myers, Thompson’s competitive side is showing as he works his way back.
“He has a focus that I’ve never seen before,” Myers said, via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau. “He has a purpose, and he’s attacking the rehab.”
Thompson recently opened up about his rehab process, sharing for the first time how the injury occurred. The Warriors guard said he was playing pickup basketball in Los Angeles when he felt a sharp pain in his heel during what was otherwise a routine play. The rehab process has been difficult, he told reporters at a press conference.
“It’s way harder than any basketball game I’ve ever had to play. Way harder than any conditioning drill or practice. The mental toll is not very fun, you always guess if you’re going to be the same player you once were so you have those naturally thoughts, but you can’t let those overtake you and you’ve got to realize this is not unique just to me so many athletes have been through this.
Thompson is on pace to return to the team by the start of the next season, having progressed to on-court activities and even showing off some of his shooting prowess earlier in the week.
Klay from the corner is still pure water 💦
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 19, 2021
Thompson’s Return Will Bring Lineup Changes
When Thompson does come back to the court, it will cause some shuffling for the Warriors lineup. The team opted against any major moves at the deadline, meaning starter and rumored trade target Kelly Oubre Jr. will stay with the team for the next two months. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, but Myers hinted that they may try to bring him back.
“And those are conversations we’ll have — I can’t, per the rules, promise anything, but we like Kelly and we’d love to be able to see him in our future plans, but that’s four or five, six months away, and we’ll see what happens with us and obviously it takes two,” he said, via ESPN. “So that decision will be made down the line.”
Oubre has said he wants to return to the Warriors, but for now is focused on the team’s playoff push this season.
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 26, 2021
If Oubre does come back, he would likely have to slide to the bench to make room for Thompson in the starting lineup. Myers said he doesn’t know yet what the starting lineup will look like next year and what players might return, but said the team will have four or five months to figure it out.