Warriors, happy to have Thompson back

SAN FRANCISCO – The swingman of the Golden State Warriors, Klay thompsonHe’s starting to look more like his old basketball self in the middle of his rehab from a torn right Achilles tendon. Participating in his first official team practice since sustaining the injury in an offseason training on November 18, 2020, Thompson took shots all over the court, much to the delight of his teammates and coaches.

“Klay looked great,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after his team’s first practice on Tuesday. “His team won the daily shooting competition. And he was smiling, laughing, joking, it was so much fun to see old Klay back.”

Thompson, who has not played in an NBA game since June 13, 2019 after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, has been for the team facilities in good spirits in recent days as he awaits the opportunity to return to play competitively.

“Everyone is excited that Klay is on the court,” Kerr said. “He basically did all the things in practice today. We didn’t practice, we didn’t have any live contact, but Klay is very happy to play and we are all very happy to see him participate. So it was just a really good first day, the first ones. days and lots of energy as we start shooting. “

While Thompson’s return is still several months away, Kerr acknowledged that the former All-Star’s presence at practice has given the rest of his group an emotional boost.

“Part of this is his spirit, his energy, his joy,” Kerr said. “A big part of this is also, ‘Yeah, we have Klay.’ The confidence level as a group, we’re getting Klay back. It makes us all feel better. And that’s the sense I have of our guys.”

While the Warriors are hesitant to put a specific return date for Thompson’s return as he continues to rehab, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said during Monday’s media day that the organization’s hope is that sometime At this point, probably in December or January, Thompson comes to the Warriors coaches and reception and says he is ready to play again, in consultation with the Warriors medical staff.

Thompson noted Monday that “I’m probably in the 75th or 80th percentile of what I need to do” when it comes to rehab. Either way, the Warriors are happy that Thompson is getting closer and closer to a comeback, and they can see that the lengthy rehab process from two career-altering injuries has caused the 31-year-old to embrace the game and the world. that surrounds it. even more.

“I think his time away brought him a lot of suffering,” Kerr said. “Because what he likes best was taken away from him. It’s the first time that has happened. And so while he was gone, he had to go through some struggles that probably illuminated some of the struggles other people have every day. It’s a moment. quite natural to be growing up at that age and expanding emotionally, and none of that surprises me given what we’ve known about Klay over the years.

“He’s a deeply compassionate and caring person. He just doesn’t always show it to the world.”