It’s been quite some time since the last time Golden State Warriors fans saw Klay Thompson on the court. In fact, it’s been over two-and-a-half years to be exact.
Thompson sustained a torn ACL injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. This resulted in the All-Star guard missing the entire 2019-20 NBA season. On top of that, Thompson tore his Achilles tendon before the start of the 2020-21 campaign and he was forced to miss that season as well.
To say that both injuries are serious ones would be a huge understatement. And it would be reasonable to presume if a player could come back from such injuries. Fortunately, for both Klay Thompson and the Warriors, his return to the hardwood could be just around the corner.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Thompson could return in either of the next two home games. The first would be this upcoming Sunday (Jan. 9) against the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 18.
Needless to say, Thompson’s return to the lineup could not have come at a better time. Sure, the Warriors have managed to climb to the top of the standings, as they have the best record in the NBA at 28-7 and they have won seven of their last 10 games.
Furthermore, the Warriors are ranked sixth in both scoring (111.2 points per contest) and offensive efficiency (112.5 points per 100 possessions. The Warriors are ranked first in scoring defense (101.3 points per game) and defensive efficiency (102.5 points per 100 possessions).
What Thompson brings to the fold for the Warriors
But as well as the Warriors have been playing this season despite Thompson’s absence, it is worth mentioning what Thompson brings to the table. He has scored at least 20 points per contest in each of his last five seasons. He has also shot at least 40 percent from behind the 3-point line as well. Taking those numbers into consideration, adding Thompson back to the mix will be a game-changer for the Warriors.
“We are looking forward to getting Klay back,” Warriors All-Star Draymond Green told reporters Monday. “That takes this team to another level. We are extremely excited about that, but nobody is expecting it to just be seamless. You want to try to make it as seamless as you possibly can, but there is no way to guarantee that.”
Whether Thompson is the player he was once was remains to be seen. But adding a player of his talent level back into the rotation only enhanced this team’s chances of being a considerable title contender, something that wasn’t a foregone conclusion when the season began.