It's been almost 20 months since we last saw Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on the court together.
Thompson is missing his second straight season after tearing his right Achilles tendon during a workout in the offseason. He missed all of last season while rehabbing the torn ACL he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Thompson is slowly working his way through a grueling rehab process, but his father, Mychal Thompson, is confident the Warriors' star duo won't miss a beat when Klay finally returns.
"Physically he's going to come around," Mychal Thompson told Cory Hepola of WCCO 830 in Minnesota. "He's got to be patient and do his rehab. He's encouraged to see how Kevin Durant, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Wesley Matthews, players like those guys who have suffered the Achilles injury and have come back 100 percent and as good as ever. He's also dealing with his knee, but his knee is fine. That gave him no problem and then he tore his Achilles during a workout.
"Physically, he's going to be fine, but emotionally is where it's tough. Mentally, having to sit out two straight years with a major injury when he's in his prime. That's very frustrating. I tell you one thing, it makes you appreciate being healthy and appreciate your job, even more, when you can't play for two straight years. He'll be back next year this time and he and Steph Curry will pick up right where they left off."
Klay recently rejoined the Warriors and has been doing all he can to be a part of the team as he rehabs his torn Achilles.
The Warriors were expected to re-enter the NBA championship conversation this season after a year spent at the bottom of the league with Curry and Thompson sidelined. Thompson's injury altered expectations, and Curry has spent the first part of the season learning to play with a new supporting cast outside of Draymond Green and Kevon Looney.
Golden State is 9-8 through 17 games, which is good for eighth place in the loaded Western Conference. The Warriors made the move to acquire Kelly Oubre after Thompson's injury. While Oubre has given them a quality wing defender to pester opposing guards, he hasn't given them much offensively and the Warriors reportedly have discussed trading Oubre to the New Orleans Pelicans, although it's unclear how far those talks progressed.
The Warriors should fully return as a championship player next season, with Curry, Thompson, Green, Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman making up a quality starting five. Golden State also owns the rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected 2021 first-round pick, so the Warriors could add another elite young talent to their core this offseason.
The NBA should enjoy the two-year hiatus they've been given. The Splash Brothers will return next season.