There is not yet an official timeline for Klay Thompson’s return to the Warriors lineup, but his father provided a pretty good update the other day.
Mychal Thompson, who accompanied Klay out of Oracle Arena after the shooting guard sustained a torn ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of The Finals, indicated his son may be able to resume moderate basketball activities by the end of the calendar year.
“He’s walking normally and he’s very optimistic and enthusiastic about getting back late next season,” Thompson said on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider podcast.
“Once he gets back up to the bay and is around the team and he’s working out . . . he probably won’t be on the court doing fullcourt drills until late December or January. So, he’s got quite a ways to go. The main thing is to stay dedicated and diligent in your rehab and just continue to work hard and keep that motivation to get back on the court with his teammates.”
Thompson sustained the injury on June 13 and underwent surgery on July 2. With a typical recovery period falling anytime between six months and nine months, his father’s projection is within range.
Mychal even offered a comparison: Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, who had surgery in February 2017. LaVine five months later (in July) announced himself ahead of schedule. Four months later, he was throwing down windmill dunks in full-contact practices.
When LaVine did not return until January, it was speculated that he could have come back sooner if the Bulls weren’t committed to tanking.
There is no questioning that LaVine aced his recovery.
“Modern medicine has advanced so much since 10, 15, 20 years ago,” Mychal Thompson said. “Guys come back from this injury and are normal. You can look at a bunch of players in the league now who have suffered that injury and have come back because they’ve dedicated themselves to their rehab. And they come back as if nothing ever happened.
“Doctors are so good now. Modern medicine is so good at repairing these athletes. That’s the way I talked to Klay. You’re going to be fine. Look at Zach LaVine. He had the same injury and is as bouncy as ever because guys like that work hard to come back. (Klay) will come back stronger than ever.”
Thompson’s injury led some to wonder if the Warriors might reduce the proposed max contract offer once he became a free agent. They didn’t. Thompson last month signed a five-year pact worth $190 million.
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“We never worried about that, because (Warriors CEO) Joe Lacob and management have been so loyal to their core players and what they have meant to that franchise,” Mychal Thompson said. “And with this injury, every doctor assured Klay and the Warriors that he was going to come back as good as ever.”
The Warriors would happily accept that and remain hopeful that Thompson will be able to return to game action sometime in February or March.