Warriors' Klay Thompson 'May Not Play in a Back-to-Back All Year,' Steve Kerr Says

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 4, 2022

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) is defended by Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Friday that shooting guard Klay Thompson may not play games on back-to-back days this season.

"Klay may not play in a back-to-back all year," Kerr said, per ESPN's Kendra Andrews. "He didn't last year because of two straight season-ending injuries."

The struggling 3-6 Warriors will be without Thompson, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins on Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans because of various listed ailments. All four of them played Thursday in a 130-129 loss to the Orlando Magic.

If Thompson does not play back-to-backs this year, then he will miss at least 13 more games. The 2022-23 schedule has the Warriors playing 13 back-to-back sets, with the next one occurring Nov. 13 and 14.

Thompson suffered a torn ACL during the 2019 NBA Finals that kept him out for the entire 2019-20 season. He then suffered a torn Achilles during a Nov. 16, 2020 preseason workout that forced him off the court for all of 2020-21.

The former Washington State star didn't return to the team until Jan. 9 of last season. He played on a minutes restriction before the team lifted it in March.

As Kerr noted, Thompson never played on back-to-back days, missing the front or back end of them nine times after he returned.

Thompson ended up playing 54 games (32 regular season, 22 playoffs) for the NBA champion Warriors last season. He averaged 20.4 points per game in the regular season and 19.0 PPG in the postseason.

This season, the five-time All-Star is averaging 15.0 points per game on 36.4 percent shooting. It's a far slower start than usual for the four-time NBA champion, but he may have snapped that slump Thursday after a 27-point outing where he hit seven three-pointers.

His next chance to return to the lineup will be Monday at home against the Sacramento Kings.