Even though Klay Thompson had looked quite optimistic about an early return this season after suffering an ACL tear during the NBA Finals, it now looks like the Golden State Warriors will be without their starting shooting guard for longer than expected.
Klay was reportedly aiming at a mid-season return following the All-Star break, and even Stephen Curry recently claimed that their best-case-scenario was having him back in time for the playoffs.
However, Steve Kerr recently admitted that Klay is unlikely to play at all next season, as the team will prioritize his health rather than force him to come back sooner than he should:
“It’s unlikely that he’s going to play this year. So we have to understand that. You have to look at it realistically. I had an ACL (injury) 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," Kerr told Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Nonetheless, Kerr admitted that there are still some hopes of having him back there at some point next season, but he'll need to be ahead of schedule in terms of his recovery to even think about that.
In the meantime, the Warriors will need their young players and newcomers to step up, while D'Angelo Russell and Stephen Curry carry most of the offensive load:
“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," he concluded.
The Golden State Warriors will tip-off the season this Thursday when they host Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers on what will be their first official game of the Chase Center era.