Myers says Klay is in 'last step' of rehab for Warriors

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson's return to the Warriors is closing in.

The five-time All-Star recently was cleared for 5-on-5 work, and head coach Steve Kerr said Thompson has looked good running fives.

Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers went on KNBR's "Papa and Lund" on Thursday and offered an encouraging update on Thompson's progress.

“It’s the last step,” Myers said. “There will be days where he does a couple in a row, sometimes one-off, one on. Probably go to Santa Cruz and get some work there. The hard part is finding NBA guys on our team to do it because you’re not going to drag Steph and Draymond out there to scrimmage.” 

Myers did admit that it could be valuable to give Thompson some reps with Curry and Green as his return gets closer since they haven't shared the court together since the 2019 NBA Finals.

While Thompson has reached the final rehab stage, Myers still doesn't have an expected or approximate return date for Thompson, just noting the Warriors want the star guard to make his return at Chase Center.

“We all want to do it at home,” Myers said. “But it’ll be when it is. But he’s going to have to play. If he feels great, a month from now, it might be sooner. If he doesn’t, it could take longer if it’s an endurance thing. Same with James. But when you start playing, you’re on the precipice of kind of going live, doing a long scrimmage, it means you’re close. And that feels good for him and everyone in the organization.” 

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The Warriors have roared out of the gates this season and now are an NBA-best 13-2 through 15 games. That Golden State has played so well without Thompson and James Wiseman speaks to what the ceiling is for this iteration of the Warriors. As good as the Warriors have been, Myers knows how important Thompson's return is.

“I think we need his offense more than we need his defense,” Myers said. “We need that shooting. Specifically, if you look at the losses, it’s the last six minutes of a halfcourt basketball game: what are we doing? That’s where he really helps us. Having a guy that can take tough shots in small spaces. He’s got great size. Obviously we don’t need to talk about how good his shooting is. He provides you with a weapon in the halfcourt. That’s the part we’re missing in some respects. It’s not that (Andrew) Wiggins can’t do it, it’s not that Jordan (Poole) can’t do it. Those guys haven’t done it to the degree Klay has done it."

The Warriors as a collective have been invigorated by Thompson's impending return and know just how big of a boost he will be to their NBA title dreams.

"I mean from a mental standpoint alone, it's huge," Green said of Thompson's return after the Warriors' win over the Nets on Tuesday. "I think it also helps with the way other teams view you as well. We're looking forward to getting him back. We know what he brings to the table. We're not expecting him to be Klay Thompson of 2018 right away, but he has worked his ass off. He has worked his ass off for this moment and I'm looking forward to getting him back out there."