The NBA-leading Golden State Warriors got a measure of good news this week as injured guard Klay Thompson was cleared to play 5-on-5 in practice.
Thompson has not played since the 2019 NBA Finals because of a knee and then an Achilles tendon injury. Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Tuesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets that Thompson played 5-on-5 back in San Francisco on Monday and was expected to do so again on Wednesday.
Golden State is in the midst of a four-game road trip and has a game Thursday against Cleveland (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass) and Friday against Detroit (7 ET, NBA League Pass) before returning home for three games from Nov. 21-26. Thompson has not accompanied the Warriors on this trek, but has started doing 5-on-5 work as part of his recovery.
“He played 5-on-5 [Monday] and then I think he’s going to play 5-on-5 [Wednesday],” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Tuesday’s 117-99 win. “James [Wiseman] did not play. He hasn’t been cleared yet for 5-on-5, but Klay did, and I got good reports and he’s got to keep going. A two-year absence requires a lot of work. Not just a rehab, but the endurance, the strength, so it’s great that he’s playing 5-on-5 but it doesn’t mean he’s going to be ready to step on an NBA floor next week or something, but he’s progressing really well.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Nov. 10 that Thompson could return before Christmas, although the Warriors have not set a date for Thompson’s return. On Nov. 11, Thompson posted a photo of himself with the caption: “Hey DubNation, it’s coming. Just stay patient with me.”
Thompson didn’t play at all during the coronavirus-shortened season in 2019-20 as he worked back from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. He suffered that injury in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. He had surgery to repair his torn Achilles in late November of 2020 after suffering the injury while working out in the Los Angeles area on Nov. 18.
A five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection, Thompson has career averages of 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He is one of the game’s top 3-point shooters when healthy, shooting 41.3% on 3-pointers in his career and has made 230 or more 3-pointers in a season four times in his career.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.