A team that was in championship contention every season just a couple of years ago is now fighting for a play-in tournament spot to keep their season alive. The Golden State Warriors' recent struggles have led to people asking about the return date for Klay Thompson.
The guard was always known as the "ultimate Warrior" who played through injuries and hated missing games. Naturally, staying away from an NBA court for around two years has taken a toll on the Warriors star.
Klay Thompson - The star guard's return
Klay Thompson tore his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals and missed the entirety of the 2019-20 season and was all set and ready to return for the 2020-21 NBA season. Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles during a pick-up game in the offseason.
Thompson was subsequently ruled out for another season and is now nearing close to two years without playing in the NBA.
Thompson was always regarded as the ultimate teammate who never missed games and played the sport while having the most fun. Evidently, seeing his team out on the court without him is killing his spirit as he cannot wait to get back.
Klay Thompson addressed the media earlier this season and spoke about his rehab. According to ESPN’s Nick Friedell Thompson said:
"I plan on being the All-NBA player I was...I will not settle for anything less. I’m too competitive to just take a relegated role. That’s not me. I’m too fiery just to come out there and give you 13 a game on 20 minutes...I can’t wait, man. I got a lot of pent up energy.”
Klay Thompson has been seen in shootouts with his teammates and a video of him taking threes went viral, assuring Bay Area fans that he is committed to returning as soon as possible.
However, the Warriors' most recent game against the Denver Nuggets was particularly tough on him as it was the first game back with fans. It hit Thompson just how much he missed the action.
The Golden State Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings in their last game and coach Steve Kerr spoke about the sharpshooter's rehab in the postgame press conference. He had some encouraging words for Golden State Warriors fans.
Kerr said that Thompson has been cleared to begin the next stage of his rehabilitation. The next step in his recovery process is running and according to coach Kerr, Thompson is only a few weeks away from doing so.
Klay Thompson assures 'Dub Nation' that he will be back for the 2021-22 season, but the Golden State Warriors are understandably moving extremely cautiously with his return. They don't want to rush anything and want to give the 31-year-old guard all the time he needs to recover from his catastrophic injuries.
Golden State Warriors without Klay Thompson this season
The Golden State Warriors are not what they used to be before Klay's injury. They desperately miss their all-action guard on the floor and his absence has reduced the team to a .500 record.
The main effect was felt by two-time MVP and his splash brother Stephen Curry. Without Thompson to come off screens, there is evidently no other shooting threat from beyond the arc, which gives defenders liberty to crowd Curry.
Stephen Curry can no longer get the easy looks he used to because there isn't another sharpshooter in the backcourt to occupy defenders. Although Curry's greatness in marksmanship has led him to break several records this season, it is often not enough to get the team a victory.
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith said:
"The Warriors will make the league pay when Klay Thompson returns."
The sentiment is shared by several other analysts and fans. As they look at whatever limited success the Golden State Warriors have had, people are convinced the team will be right back into title contention once Thompson gets back.