Warriors

Draymond there for Klay in good, bad days of Achilles rehab

Warriors
Warriors' Draymond Green and Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson didn't need words to provide a glimpse into his rehab Friday.

His emotion, evident as the Warriors played in front of fans at Chase Center for the first time this season, said it all.

Draymond Green, Thompson's teammate since 2012, said the highs and lows are a natural part of the injured star's second significant rehab in as many seasons.

"I think sometimes it's up and down," Green told reporters in a video conference Sunday after the Warriors' win over the Kings. Sometimes he catch me, he's having a great day, he loud as hell and talking trash to everybody. And then sometimes, not so much, and I think on those not-so-much days is where he need you the most. ... Check in on him. When you're in the weight room every day rehabbing, it's boring as hell. Although you're with the team, you're kind of away from the team. You're not on the same schedule, you're not doing the same things. That can get a little challenging."

Thompson missed the entirety of the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season with a torn ACL he sustained in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, getting ruled out for the remainder of the campaign before the league suspended it last March. He practiced with the Warriors during their September minicamp, and appeared well on his way to returning to the court this season.

 

That changed when, hours before the 2020 NBA Draft in November, Thompson sustained a season-ending torn Achilles. Between the injury, the pandemic, a global reckoning with racial justice and the deaths of his grandmother and his idol, Kobe Bryant, Thompson said 2020 was the worst year of his life.

Thompson is progressing in his rehabilitation, but fans' return to Chase Center undoubtedly served as a reminder that he's yet to suit up in front of the home crowd in the Warriors' new arena.

"I think he's doing pretty good for the most part, but every day kind of takes on a life of its own," Green continued. "I've never been through an extensive rehab -- thank God -- but from what I've heard from a lot of different people, you kind of have those days where you just let it out.

"Whether it's [crying], whether it's [yelling], whatever it is, you kind of have those days where it just feel like it's slow, it's such a slow process. Obviously I sympathize with him, and just try do whatever you can to be there for him." 

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Green believes better days are ahead for Thompson. The sharp-shooting guard told coach Steve Kerr he should be running on a court within a matter of weeks.

Kerr said Thompson returning to his "happy place" on the court will do wonders for him mentally, and Green feels the same way.

"One thing about Klay is basketball is the No. 1 thing in [his] life, he love playing basketball," Green said of Thompson. "And when you take that away, it's tough. You just gotta stick with him, man, and get him through the dog days. ... I think when he's back on the court it'll be a lot different than when he just in the weight room every day."

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