Golden State Warriors All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson is aiming for a return to in-game action sometime after the February All-Star break, which would be roughly nine months since the ACL tear. Although Thompson has made it clear that he wants to play in the 2019-20 season, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr isn’t holding his breathe.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Kerr addressed Thompson’s status, saying, “It’s unlikely that he’s going to play this year.”
The Warriors recently agreed to terms with Thompson on a five-year, $190 million max contract. The five-time All Star, who will be 34 years old by the time that contract runs out, averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season with Golden State.
The addition of D’Angelo Russell will help fill the void left by Thompson, but the Warriors will certainly have their work cut out for them in the wildly competitive Western Conference.
Per NBC Sports Bay Area:
“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.
“We have to prepare our young guys to fill that role behind him, and when he gets back, whenever that is, hopefully these young guys now are developed and in the rotation and ready to really be contributors on a playoff team and we can get better,” Kerr added.
The Warriors selected Thompson 11th overall out of Washington State in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has earned two All-NBA selections and one All-Defensive nod, to go along with three championship rings in his first eight seasons.