After undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL this summer, Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is expected to miss plenty of games in the 2019-20 NBA season. During the 2019 NBA offseason, the popular belief around the league was that Thompson would be rejoining the Warriors when the real battle begins in the Western Conference Playoffs. However, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr broke the hearts of all their fans when he said in an interview that the All-Star shooting guard is “unlikely” to return this season.
According to Nick Friedell of ESPN, Kerr made it clear that his recent statement isn’t an official announcement that Klay Thompson won’t play in the 2019-20 NBA season. Kerr said that they are still keeping the doors open for Thompson’s potential return. Kerr explained that he’s just being realistic about Thompson’s current situation, saying that most of the players who suffered the same injury usually need nine to 12 months to fully recover.
“My comment was very matter of fact,” Kerr said. “It’s just ACLs, generally they take nine to 12 months. So nine months takes us right to the end of the season. So I wasn’t announcing anything; he’s doing great in his rehab. It’s still possible that he could play — but I forgot with modern media that ‘unlikely’ is going to become a [story] on the ticker, ‘out for the year’ and all that stuff, so probably my mistake for opening my mouth. Not the first time I’ve gotten myself in trouble for doing that.”
If he only has control of the situation, coach Steve Kerr would definitely love to have Klay Thompson back in the 2019-20 NBA season. Kerr and the Warriors may need Thompson’s help, especially now that their road to winning the NBA championship title is expected to be tougher compared to past years. Aside from the departure of Kevin Durant in the 2019 NBA free agency, new NBA teams are emerging as legitimate threats to the Warriors’ throne in the Western Conference, including the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
However, if they want to see the version of Klay Thompson that helped them win three NBA championship titles, the Warriors should be patient and make sure that he’s 100 percent healthy when he enters the court again. While Thompson is recovering from an ACL injury, D’Angelo Russell is set to be Stephen Curry’s temporary backcourt partner. The Warriors acquired Russell in a sign-and-trade deal that sent Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 NBA free agency.