The Warriors’ Klay Thompson expects to be fully prepared for game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
ESPN is reporting that the Warriors’ Thompson, who took a knee from Trevor Ariza to the side of his head in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets, was removed from the game, and now has to pass the NBA’s concussion protocol program before returning. If he shows any sign of the concussion continuing or worsening, he will not be allowed to play.
Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t expect any problems.
“He’s doing well,” Kerr said. “I’m anticipating he’s going to be there.”
Kerr spoke on the protocol that the Warriors’ Thompson has to go through in order to return to play for the Warriors.
“There’s sort of a progression of tests that he has to go through for NBA protocol, league protocol. But he’s going through that process.
“Klay’s disposition never changes. He’s always just mellow and he just sort of takes it all in stride. It’s good that we have this break, because he has the time to go through what he needs to get through.”
The Warrior’s Kerr then repeated, “I expect him to be there.”
The Warriors practiced today, and will take tomorrow off before resuming practice on Monday.
According to ABC Sports, the Warriors’ Kerr is so confident about Thompson’s return that he’s running Warriors’ practice like Thompson will be there. Kerr was even asked about the Warriors playing without Thompson. Said the Warriors’ leader, “I haven’t even thought about it. The series is like five weeks away. We have plenty of time to think about that.”
When pressed on the issue, however, the Warriors head coach did say that Warriors’ reserves Leandro Barbosa and Justin Holiday would be the next men up, the Warriors adopted mentality, but still expects Thompson to be ready for the Warriors.
After Thompson was hit, he was tested and cleared to continue playing, but the Warriors thought better of that. When the game was over, Thompson’s father, former NBA player Mychal Thompson, had to drive Klay home because Klay was disoriented, and was vomiting. He took Klay to the hospital to have stitches put in his right ear after the hit caused blood to flow down his head.
The concussion protocol begins with a stationary bicycle ride. Then the Warriors’ Thompson follows that with jogging, agility work, and non-contact team drills. If he experiences any concussion symptoms during any phase of the protocol, Thompson would miss the Warriors’ first NBA Finals since 1974-1975, and start the process all over again.
[Image courtesy of the Bleacher Report]