Warriors

Klay Thompson 'would love to get out there' with Warriors teammates

Klay Thompson 'would love to get out there' with Warriors teammates

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.”

[RELATED: What we learned in struggling Warriors' ninth straight loss]

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.”

Lakers' LeBron James won't play Thursday vs. Warriors at Chase Center

lebroninjuryusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Lakers' LeBron James won't play Thursday vs. Warriors at Chase Center

LeBron James won't make his second regular-season visit to Chase Center this campaign.

The Los Angeles Lakers star has a sore groin and won't play against the Warriors on Thursday. 

James, 35, missed 17 games with a left groin strain last season. He first picked up the injury in a Christmas Day loss to the Warriors in 2018, in what ended up being his last trip to Oracle Arena. He scored 22 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed eight rebounds on Feb. 8 in the Lakers' first regular-season game against the Warriors in San Francisco this season, leading Los Angeles to a 125-120 win. 

He and the Cleveland Cavaliers played against the Warriors in four straight NBA Finals from 2015 through 2018, upsetting the 73-win Golden State squad in a seven-game series win in 2016. James and two-time MVP Steph Curry were the faces of the one-sided Warriors-Cavs rivalry, but the two haven't faced each other this season.

Curry has missed all but four games since breaking his hand on Oct. 30, and he wouldn't have played against the Lakers on Thursday anyway. The Warriors guard is targeting a March 1 return, but Golden State coach Steve Kerr cast doubt on that possibility Wednesday. Kerr told reporters he thinks Curry "needs some more scrimmage time." 

[RELATED: Why a 'dap' is much more than a handshake in today's NBA] 

James and Curry were supposed to lead the Lakers and Warriors into a fierce Pacific Division rivalry, but that hasn't happened since James signed in Los Angeles two summers ago. The Lakers missed the playoffs last season and the Warriors are set to do the same this year. Curry and James should, at least, play against each other when Golden State heads to LA on April 7.

If they don't, the 2019-20 season would be the first since 2009-10 that James and Curry didn't play against each other at least once in the regular season. Curry was completing his last collegiate season at Davidson then. 

Warriors' Steve Kerr casts doubt on Steph Curry's March 1 return date

kerrcurryusa.jpg
USATSI

Warriors' Steve Kerr casts doubt on Steph Curry's March 1 return date

SAN FRANCISCO -- As the return of Steph Curry looms, Warriors coach Steve Kerr cast doubt on his targeted March 1 return date against the Wizards, citing Curry's lack of full-speed reps in recent days. 

"He’s only scrimmaged twice," Kerr said following Wednesday's practice. "In fact, I think he needs to scrimmage more before he’s ready to play. We’ll see how it all plays out."

Curry -- who broke his hand Oct. 30 -- participated in a scrimmage Wednesday morning, in a run that included Draymond Green, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Dragan Bender, assistant coaches Luke Loucks and Theo Robertson and Seth Tarver -- who played collegiately at Oregon State and is a longtime friend of guard Klay Thompson. This is the second scrimmage for Curry during his rehab process. On Saturday, Curry also participated in a scrimmage. As he progressed, The Athletic reported that Curry will indeed make his debut Sunday against the Wizards, in line with what Curry has said on record in recent days.

Nonetheless, Kerr pushed back on the notion that the date is a formality. 

"I think yesterday’s report, which was news to us, is not official," Kerr said. "Nothing’s official. Steph will play when he’s ready to go. That date has been something that’s for sure on Steph’s mind. But he’ll play when we all feel like he’s ready to go. I think he needs some more scrimmage time." 

[RELATED: Warriors excited to watch Steph, Wiggins together]

Sunday's targeted return date is a culmination of a rigorous rehabilitation stretch. In December, the two-time MVP underwent his second surgery to remove a screw in the second metacarpal. Since the surgery, Curry frequently has been seen on road trips participating in strenuous workouts following practices. Still, Kerr says the guard may not be ready.

"He’s been out for four months and he’s been doing a ton of individual work. But to put someone in an NBA game, you have to feel really, really comfortable that everything is there conditioning-wise, strength-wise," Kerr said. "And a lot of that you can’t simulate unless it’s actual basketball. He’s done everything that Rick [Celebrini] has asked of him and more. His individual workouts have been taxing but two scrimmages against non-NBA players -- no offense to them -- doesn’t exactly qualify as perfect preparation."

In the interim, Curry -- who was averaging 23.5 points in four-game prior to the injury -- will participate in scheduled practices Wednesday and Friday before his re-evaluation on Saturday.