Warriors' Klay Thompson Has Surgery on Achilles Injury; Full Recovery Expected

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2020

Injured Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson gives television analysis during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Warriors and the Chicago Bulls in San Francisco, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair his torn Achilles tendon and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Warriors confirmed on Nov. 19 that Thompson had suffered the injury while working out ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season, with the injury expected to cost him the entire season.

Stephen Curry told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears that learning of Thompson's torn Achilles was a "gut punch" and led to "a lot of tears."

"You feel for a guy who has worked so hard to get back on the court two-three weeks out of [training camp] and something like that happens," Curry said. "You need to have a big-picture mentality when something like this happens. It's easier said than done going through a lot of rehab, but there is a lot of time left in his career. We're going to be there through it all."

The recent history of NBA players suffering major Achilles injuries doesn't provide a ton of optimism. However, Breanna Stewart missed the 2019 WNBA season because of a torn Achilles and returned in 2020 to finish second in the MVP voting while guiding the Seattle Storm to a championship.

Kevin Durant and John Wall will help to provide guides for what to expect from Thompson when he returns as well. They were both out for the entirety of 2019-20 after undergoing surgery on their Achilles.

The concern for Thompson is compounded by the fact he hasn't suited up for the Warriors since the 2019 NBA Finals, when he tore his ACL in Game 6. By the time he's back on the court, he will have been on the shelf for two full seasons.

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Replacing Thompson was impossible for the Warriors, especially so close to the start of the regular season on Dec. 22. The timing of his injury at least allowed Golden State to use a trade exception to acquire Kelly Oubre Jr. from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In the wake of Thompson's Achilles tear, some are calling time on a dynastic run that included five straight Finals runs and three titles. The Warriors showed by adding Oubre they're still focused on maximizing their championship window for as long as they can.