SAN FRANCISCO -- Klay Thompson, rehabilitating in the wake of surgery to repair a torn left ACL, was not ready Tuesday to deliver a timeline for his return to the Warriors but made it clear he is anticipating that day.
“I don’t know what’s going to come this season; I would love to get out there,” he said at halftime of the Warriors' game against the Dallas Mavericks at Chase Center.
Thompson has missed all 42 games this season, but he is entering the advanced stage of rehabilitation. He’s limited to such individual workouts as shooting drills and ballhandling. He is a regular presence at Chase Center, operating under the supervision of Rick Celebrini, the team’s director or sports medicine.
Thompson also has been attending games, sitting on the bench with his teammates, most of whom he has yet to share the court.
“It’s a tough part of the season,” he said. “It’s very rare for me not to be grinding through with them. But I’m trying to make sure this type of injury never happens to me again. So, I’ll be very patient because I want to play at a high level until I’m in my late-30s.”
Post-surgery rehab for ACL injuries can be as short as eight or nine months but often require more than a year.
Coach Steve Kerr, who underwent ACL repair in 1986, pointed out to the advances in modern medicine and added that Thompson is coming along nicely.
“These days, the process goes a little faster,” Kerr said. “So, I’m watching Klay out on the floor shooting a lot of shots and he’s got that beautiful stroke and he’s out there smiling and laughing and shooting jumpers.
“More than anything, it just feels good to see him out there. And for him to feel it like he’s actually closer. Even though he’s still a ways from being out on the floor, he’s so far along now compared to when this first started. He’s pretty far down the path. He’s starting to feel that. The routine is changing now. He’s on the court a lot more.”
The Warriors, through the team’s medical staff, are scheduled to provide an update on Thompson’s recovery sometime in mid-February.
Meanwhile, with both Stephen Curry and Thompson sidelined, the losses are mounting.
“I appreciate the Warrior fans showing up every night to Chase,” Thompson said. “It’s just a testament to the fan base we have. They know it’s been a tough season, but they know the future is bright.”