When Klay Thompson returns to basketball action in the 2021-22 season, it will be after missing two whole years to a torn ACL in 2019 and a torn right Achilles in 2020.
On Sunday, he provided reporters with an update on his recovery and his hopes for a return next season:
Without Thompson, the Warriors are without one of the best shooters in basketball, an excellent perimeter defender and the team's second-best scoring threat behind Stephen Curry.
In the 2018-19 campaign, the 31-year-old averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game, shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three. For his career he's 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.
He and Curry—the famed Splash Brothers—helped lead the Warriors to three titles in four seasons before getting injured against the Toronto Raptors in the 2018-19 NBA Finals, won by the Raptors. The five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA third-team selection also helped change modern basketball, as the perimeter-focused Dubs were at the forefront of the current push toward floor spacing and three-point shooting.
Suffice to say, Thompson's two-year injury hiatus is not only a major blow for the Warriors, but for basketball fans in general. But when he returns, expect to see Thompson back at the top of his game.
"I plan on being the All-NBA player I was. I will not settle for anything less," he told reporters. "I'm too competitive to just take a relegated role. That's not me. I'm too fiery just to come out there and give you 13 a game on 20 minutes. I can't wait, man. I got a lot of pent up energy."
And as for the Warriors, well, Thompson wants a fourth ring.
"I anticipate us being right back in contention for a championship again," he said.