Warriors' Klay Thompson Feels 'Very Close' to Return from Injury, Wants Home Debut

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2021

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 25: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors looks on prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 25, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors star guard Klay Thompson told reporters on Friday he's close to returning from the torn right Achilles that has kept him out of action for over a year. 

And he wants to do it in from of his home fans:

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Klay Thompson said he feels “very close”<br><br>-Target date? “That’s up to Mr. Celebrini.”<br><br>-Set on it being a home return? “Yeah. I want it to be in front of our fans. They deserve it.” <a href="https://t.co/xx8f4tUKQF">pic.twitter.com/xx8f4tUKQF</a>

Thompson, 31, last played in the 2019 NBA Finals. He tore his ACL in those Finals, the Toronto Raptors won the title in six games, Kevin Durant left that offseason to sign with the Brooklyn Nets and Thompson missed the entirety of the 2019-20 season. 

It was a tough year for the Dubs, but it didn't get much better ahead of the 2020-21 season. In November, as he was preparing to return to action from his ACL injury, Thompson suffered the torn Achilles during an offseason workout. That ended his season before it even began. 

Golden State qualified for a play-in seed but lost both of its play-in games, failing to reach the postseason for a second straight year. 

They'll end that streak this season. Even without Thompson to this point, the Warriors are still atop the NBA at 27-7. 

The question is whether Thompson can return at an All-Star level after missing two full seasons. Thompson is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, shooting 41.9 percent from three for his career, and was a key figure in Golden State's three titles. He was also a five-time All-Star.

If he can return anywhere close to that level of play, an already good Warriors team is going to be downright scary. Thompson certainly expects to eventually get back there:

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Klay Thompson: “I feel like it’s going to take a few games, maybe a few weeks to get to feeling like an All-Star again.”<br><br>Sounds like the plan remains around an 18-minute limit to start with a ramp up <a href="https://t.co/7i0Dx3ILRH">pic.twitter.com/7i0Dx3ILRH</a>

Stephen Curry is playing at an MVP level, Draymond Green remains one of the most impactful players in the NBA and the Warriors have far more depth than they've boasted in recent years. The Warriors look like a dangerous team heading into 2022.