Warriors' Klay Thompson Announces He Will Return from Achilles Injury vs. Cavaliers

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2022

Injured Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson dribble the ball as players get ready for an NBA basketball game between the Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson will officially make his 2021-22 debut Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Thompson posted a clip from Space Jam when Bill Murray shows up to offer his help to the Tune Squad by saying "perhaps I could be of some assistance" on his Instagram page. 

"How I’m pulling up to chase tomorrow, Bill Murray is my spirit animal," Thompson wrote. "IM SO EXCITED TO SEE YALL DUBNATION! LETS GET IT."

Golden State Warriors @warriors

“I’m back.” - <a href="https://twitter.com/KlayThompson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KlayThompson</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Klay941?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Klay941</a> <a href="https://t.co/AMOlnSXtxv">pic.twitter.com/AMOlnSXtxv</a>

The guard suffered a torn Achilles in Nov. 2020, which cost him the entire 2020-21 season and the start of this year. He hasn't played a competitive game since the NBA finals in June 2019, when he suffered a torn ACL that caused him to miss all of 2019-20.

Thompson will now get a chance to make his return to the court for the first time in about 31 months.

The 31-year-old had been one of the best two-way players in the NBA with five straight All-Star selections prior to his injury.

From 2014-19, Thompson averaged at least 20 points per game each season while shooting 42.3 percent from three-point range in this stretch. Adding his high-level perimeter defense, he was a key part of the Warriors reaching the NBA Finals in five straight seasons while winning three titles.

His return will be a valuable addition for Golden State as it looks to return to the playoffs after missing out in the last two years.

The Warriors have already been among the top teams in the NBA this year as Stephen Curry makes a bid for his third MVP award. The rest of the backcourt has also thrived, with Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole excelling on both ends of the court.

It could allow Golden State to bring Thompson along slowly as he works his way back to full strength.

If the veteran can return to his past level of play, the Warriors will be difficult to beat this season. Their 29-9 record ranks second in the NBA, behind only the reigning Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns (30-8).