Warriors' Klay Thompson Says He's 'Almost Ready' Amid Rumors of Return from Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 7: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during an open practice on October 7, 2021 at the Oracle Performance Center in San Francisco, California. 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 Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson confirmed he's nearing his return to an NBA court.

The five-time All-Star said during an Instagram Live session he "can’t wait to hoop again" and is "almost ready."

Kylen Mills @KylenMills

“I can’t wait to hoop again… I’m almost there, I’m almost ready.”<br><br>Klay Thompson is vibing on his boat shortly after reports come out that he could make his debut Sunday against the Cavaliers. He tells fans on Instagram “it’s coming.” <a href="https://twitter.com/kron4news?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kron4news</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DubNation?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DubNation</a> <a href="https://t.co/8RLJKHVAlv">pic.twitter.com/8RLJKHVAlv</a>

Thompson hasn't suited up for Golden State since the 2019 NBA Finals. He suffered a torn ACL as the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors and then tore his Achilles tendon while preparing for the 2020-21 season.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday the team is optimistic about him making his season debut Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors own the NBA's best record (28-7), so having the 31-year-old back in the lineup would be an added bonus.

Because he experienced major injuries in such close succession, it's difficult to gauge what kind of player Thompson will be going forward. But the Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant and Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart have shown that a torn Achilles may not be the devastating setback it once was.

Thompson's game could suit him well for life post-ACL and Achilles injuries as well. He's not somebody who relied on explosive athleticism, and 43.7 percent of his field-goal attempts have come from beyond the arc, per Basketball Reference.

Mychal Thompson made the point in September 2020 his son's shot might have improved over time since throwing up jumpers was all he could do for a long time:

SiriusXM NBA Radio @SiriusXMNBA

"He's going full speed."<br><br>Klay's father, Mychal Thompson (<a href="https://twitter.com/champagnennuts?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@champagnennuts</a>) updates <a href="https://twitter.com/DarthAmin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DarthAmin</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/TheJaxShow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheJaxShow</a> on the status of the Warriors' star on NBA Insiders. <a href="https://t.co/GLmH8ZwYBy">pic.twitter.com/GLmH8ZwYBy</a>

For many athletes, rehabilitation is often more difficult than the injury itself.

Gordon Hayward recounted advice he received from Paul George as it related to working back from a fractured ankle.

"There are going to be days where you feel really good, and there are going to be days where it is a lot more sore than normal. There are days where you feel like you take two or three steps backward, but he’s told me not to get frustrated by that. In time, I’ll be 100 percent and healthy."

Following the Warriors' 118-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 26, he remained on the bench long after the game ended:

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

It’s now been about 20 minutes since the game ended and Klay Thompson is still on the bench with a towel over his head <a href="https://t.co/5bvnXjQgCO">pic.twitter.com/5bvnXjQgCO</a>

Whether Sunday is the day or not, Thompson finally appears to be nearing the light at the end of the tunnel.