Klay Thompson got to celebrate his 31st birthday in style on Monday, as he took the floor for Warriors shootaround sans the walking boot he's had while recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in November.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr confirmed the news during his pregame press conference before the Warriors took on the San Antonio Spurs, saying getting the walking boot off is a "milestone."
"He's definitely on schedule, he had a checkup a couple weeks ago with the surgeon, and everything went well," Kerr told reporters. "He was excited to get the boot off, and it's great to have him on the trip."
When Thompson joined NBC Sports Bay Area's broadcast of the Warriors' game against the Detroit Pistons in late-January, he gave an update to Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike about how the rehab process has been going.
"I'm living. Good to be back in the building," Thompson told Fitzgerald and Azubuike. "I'm so eagerly waiting to play. Just bored at times. Stuff is slow with letting my Achilles try to heal and get to the next stage, which is mobility work. But I'm feeling good. I'm happy to be with my teammates. Unfortunate I'm not playing. It kills me every day, but I plan on playing for a long time and I don't want to have any mishaps from this rehab."
Thompson is in the midst of another recovery from a major, season-ending injury, after missing all of the 2019-20 season following a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Monday marks an important step, and as long as things continue to progress positively for Klay, we'll be seeing him make his return to the court when the Warriors open up the 2021-22 NBA season.