The 2019 NBA Finals marked the end of one of the most dominant careers in basketball history.
During the series between the Raptors and Warriors, Golden State saw Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson go down with season-ending injuries. Durant suffered an Achilles tendon tear in Game 5 and Thompson was forced to leave Game 6 after sustaining an ACL tear. Despite the best efforts of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors, the team was unable to overcome those losses and ultimately lost to Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors.
Durant joined the Nets during the 2019 offseason and has reestablished himself as one of the best players in the league. Unfortunately for Thompson, his return was delayed due to another major injury. The Warriors have been great without him this season, but it’s clear Steve Kerr’s team wants nothing more than to see a healthy Thompson on the floor.
The good news for Golden State? After walking a long road to recovery, Thompson appears to be closing in on the finish line.
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Timeline of the Klay Thompson injury
– June 13, 2019: During the third quarter of Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Thompson tries to dunk the ball on a fast break, is fouled by Danny Green, and lands awkwardly with all his weight on his left leg. He immediately reaches for his left knee and is seen screaming in pain. He manages to take his free throws, but is later substituted to be evaluated by the team’s medical personnel. The Raptors continue to win the game, capturing their first championship in franchise history.
Klay Thompson’s knee injury … damn pic.twitter.com/Uxuj9oJQob
– gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 14, 2019
– June 14, 2019: The warriors announce that Thompson had an MRI after game 6. The MRI confirmed that Thompson had suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.
– July 1, 2019: Thompson accepts a five-year, $ 190 million contract with the Warriors, according to multiple reports. In an Instagram post, Thompson states that there was “never a doubt” that he would re-sign with Golden State.
– September 30, 2019: Warriors general manager Bob Myers rules out Thompson until at least the 2020 All-Star break.
“He’s doing well,” Myers said. “We’ll have another update on him probably around the All-Star break. Don’t interpret that as though we think he’ll be back for the All-Star break, that just means we’ll have an update then.”
– October 22, 2019: Warriors coach Steve Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Logan Murdock that Thompson is “unlikely” to play during the 2019-20 season.
“You have to look at it realistically,” Kerr said. “I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed an entire season. In general, an ACL for a basketball player is a full year recovery, and if it’s a full year for Klay, that puts them out of the game for the season. We leave the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say that he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. “
– February 20, 2020: The warriors announce that Thompson is “making good progress” in his rehabilitation, but that he will not play for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Golden State adds that Thompson is expected to be available for the team’s training camp.
– November 18, 2020: The warriors announce that Thompson suffered a leg injury during an offseason workout in Southern California. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski later reports that Thompson suffered a torn Achilles tendon.
– November 25, 2020: The Warriors confirm that Thompson suffered a torn right Achilles tendon and underwent successful surgery in Los Angeles. Golden State notes that the entire 2020-21 season is expected to be missed.
– August 20, 2021: During an episode of “The Jump,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports that the Warriors are targeting the team’s Christmas Day game against the Suns for Thompson’s return. That would mark 13 months since his Achilles surgery.
“A lot of this is conditioning,” Shelburne said. “He’s doing well in his rehab, but now he’s missed two seasons in a row. So don’t bring him back. [too early]. This is a conservative goal. If you do well and your conditioning has improved and you feel like you want to come back sooner, you will. But this is a conservative Christmas Day goal because you need time to regain your conditioning when you miss two NBA seasons. “
– November 16, 2021: On the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Nick Friedell says Thompson could be back before Christmas Day. Friedell believes Thompson could be back in the rotation for the Dec. 20 game against the Kings or the Dec. 23 game against the Grizzlies, both at home.
“I would be surprised if it’s not one of those home games, unless there is some kind of mishap next month, which we know with those kinds of injuries. [could happen]”Friedell said.” They have a couple of games right before Christmas, and then I think it’s a Denver home game right after Christmas. I’d be surprised if Klay wasn’t back in one of those because it feels like, in the brief looks we’ve had him training … he looks like himself. “
– November 28, 2021: Reports Shams Charania from Athletic Thompson has been assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors, an affiliate of Golden State’s G League, to increase practice reps. That was based on a report from Friedell, who notes that Thompson was participating in full team practice for the first time since his Achilles tendon was torn.
– December 3, 2021: Thompson uses Instagram Live and tells his followers that he hopes to come back “in the next few weeks” or “maybe a month.” by Marc J. Spears from The Undefeated. That timeline lines up with previous reports indicating that his return could occur around Christmas Day.
– December 16, 2021: Report Anthony Slater and Charania from Athletic The earliest possible comeback date for Thompson is December 28, as he is still improving his conditioning.
– December 17, 2021: Wojnarowski reports that the Warriors are targeting a date in early January for Thompson’s return. Golden State is considering January 9 (against the Cavaliers) and January 18 (against the Pistons) as possible comeback dates. A Jan.3 comeback against the Heat has yet to be ruled out, but Thompson is unlikely to return to the court for that game.
– January 3, 2022: Wojnarowski reports that there is “optimism” that Thompson can make his season debut against the Cavaliers on January 9.
Klay made 24 triples in a row 👀 pic.twitter.com/vNuptRHknR
– Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 2, 2022
MORE: Four Urgent Questions Facing Thompson, Warriors
Warriors next schedule 2021-22
Thompson told reporters on December 31 that you would like to return to the Chase Center. The Warriors will play at home on January 9 against the Cavaliers. Then, they will go on a four-game road trip from January 11-16.
|Date||Adversary||Time (ET) / Result||National television|
|January 1||in Jazz||W, 123-116||NBA TV|
|January 3||against the heat||10 p. M.||NBA TV|
|January 5||in Mavericks||7:30 pm||ESPN|
|January 6th||in Pelicans||8 p. M.||–|
|January 9th||against the knights||8:30 pm||–|
|January 11||in Grizzlies||8 p. M.||NBA TV|
|January 13th||in bucks||7:30 pm||TNT|
|January 14||in Bulls||8 p. M.||–|
|January 16||in Timberwolves||8 p. M.||–|
|January 18||against pistons||10 p. M.||NBA TV|