Report: Kevin Durant Told Klay Thompson Not to Rush Return from Achilles Injury

Doric SamJanuary 11, 2022

Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson talks to the media after an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
AP Photo/John Hefti

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson reportedly received advice from a former teammate during his recovery from his torn Achilles.

Thompson, who played in his first game in 31 months on Sunday and scored 17 points, was told by Kevin Durant not to rush his return. The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears reported that Thompson felt like he came back too fast from the torn ACL he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.

"This time around," Spears said, "he talks to Durant and Durant said, 'Man, do not come back until you're absolutely ready. Wait, take your time, don't rush it.' And that was the result of it last night."

The Warriors topped the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-82, but Thompson was the story of the night. He received adulation from many players around the NBA, past and present, who were happy to see him finally get back on the court.

Thompson's Golden State teammates were the most excited for his return, and he gave them reason to celebrate when he threw down a huge dunk and splashed three triples in vintage fashion. Thompson's presence on the floor seemed to take pressure off Stephen Curry, who had 28 points after scoring 23 in the previous two games combined.

Warriors forward Draymond Green played the opening tip before quickly exiting the game due to calf tightness because he wanted to be there to support Thompson. Spears revealed that the two of them share a close friendship, and Green partly feels like he could have prevented Thompson's torn Achilles.

"When Klay got hurt playing pickup ball, Draymond was supposed to be there that day, but he and his wife Hazel actually were planning to fly on a vacation and he didn't make it," Spears said. "Draymond to this day still feels guilty for not being there when Klay tore his Achilles and feels like if he would've been in the building, perhaps that wouldn't have happened."

Golden State will be back in action on Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies.