Klay Thompson's return to the Warriors is inching closer, but it won't happen against the Miami Heat on Monday night at Chase Center.
Thompson is listed as out on the 4:30 p.m. PT injury report released by the NBA for right Achilles injury management, meaning his long-awaited first game in over 30 months will have to wait until at least next Sunday when the Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Dec. 17, ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing sources, that the Warriors and Thompson were targeting home games on Jan. 9 or Jan. 18, with Jan. 3 less likely though it hadn't been ruled out at the time.
Now, Jan. 3 has been been ruled out.
But Thompson is real close. He took a big step in his rehab last week when he scrimmaged with Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala and the rest of the Warriors' healthy rotation players.
Thompson wasn't initially supposed to scrimmage with the team in Denver on Thursday, but the Nuggets didn't have the required number of healthy players due to a COVID-19 outbreak and injuries. Once the NBA postponed the game, the Warriors used the empty Ball Arena to get a rare practice in.
Coach Steve Kerr admitted watching the Splash Brothers scrimmage together was "really cool."
The footage of Thompson and Curry playing together again is a reminder to everyone of what is about to hit the NBA. Prior to the Warriors' win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, Thompson made an astonishing 24 straight corner 3-pointers. Following the game, Wiggins said the league is in trouble when Klay returns.
Without Thompson in the lineup, the Warriors own the best record in the NBA through Sunday's action. With him back in the mix relatively soon, Golden State might be unbeatable.
The Jan. 9 game against the upstart Cavs isn't a certainty for Thompson's return -- the Warriors don't have to rush him back because of how well they are playing -- but considering the progress he has made in the last week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the five-time NBA All-Star introduced as part of the starting lineup that night.