Warriors' Klay Thompson Doesn't Anticipate Returning From Injury Before Late November

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 27, 2021

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Denver. The Warriors won 142-111. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson does not have a set date to return to the court after missing last season with an Achilles injury, and it's possible he will miss at least the first month of the 2021-22 season.

"Don't have a set date, but don't anticipate anything before 12 months, that's at least until late November, early December," Thompson told reporters Monday.

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic noted, Thompson underwent Achilles surgery on Nov. 25 last year. Golden State opens the 2021-22 season against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 19.

Earlier in the day, Warriors general manager Bob Myers floated January as a potential return timetable:

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

At Warriors Media Day, GM Bob Myers says it will be a "patient ramp-up" for Klay Thompson after two major injuries and cites "maybe January" when discussing Thompson's possible return date.<br><br>More NBA from me: <a href="https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq">https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq</a>

As he looks to return to action, Thompson continues to focus on rehab.

"I'm still in the middle of my rehab," Thompson said, per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I'm probably 75, 80 percent done with what I need to do."

The five-time All-Star is expected to return to the court at some point during the upcoming season after having missed two full years due to injuries. He tore his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals, which knocked him out for all of 2019-20. As he was preparing for the 2020-21 campaign, he tore his Achilles tendon.

On Sept. 20, the Warriors provided an update on the 31-year-old, saying he had "made good progress during his rehabilitation." The team did not detail when he'd have the green light to play again, though.

There is no bigger wild card on Golden State's roster than Thompson.

The past two years have exposed how much depth the Warriors lost, as their secondary contributors either became too expensive or retired. A resurgence of their Big Three can help paper over the cracks.

While they aren't the dominant force they once were, the Warriors can be a title contender again if Thompson remains one of the best two-way guards in the NBA. But if his game has declined, they might struggle to earn a top-four seed in the Western Conference.