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NBA

Warriors' Klay Thompson looks set to return in January 2022

The NBA All-Star can't hide his excitement as he continues to draw closer to his long awaited return to the court.

Update:
The return of Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson is almost here as he has set his sights on a January 2022 return having been out for almost two years.

The long awaited return of the Warriors' 'other guy' is close at hand.

Klay Thompson to return in January?

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Klay Thompson's could be on his way to a return to the court in the new year. It is understood that the All-Star guard is setting the target of a January home game for his return to action. At this point, Thompson's return is set for a toss up between the Warrior's January 9th game against the Cleveland Cavaliers or their date with the Detroit Pistons on January 18th. The game against the Miami Heat on January 3rd had been mentioned as a possibility, however, now seems less likely as the Warriors continue to be cautious with their star's recovery. Golden State coach Steve Kerr has always maintained that he wished for Thompson to make his season debut at home.

The Warriors are being cautious with Thompson

Prior to Friday night's game against the Boston Celtics, Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted that the exact timing of Thompson's return was still unclear. Kerr did, however, say that he will speak to Thompson, general manager Bob Myers and director of sports medicine and performance Rick Celebrini once the team returns from its East Coast road trip. "I don't know how exactly it's going to pan out right now," Kerr said. "I know that when we get back from this trip, I'll put my head together with Rick's and Klay's and we'll talk about it and Bob and we'll see where everything stands. But I know he's doing great. He was in Santa Cruz this week and had a couple good days there, so it's all going along smoothly, but we don't have a date yet." Kerr also added that Thompson could still feature in Santa Cruz over the next couple of weeks for more scrimmaging. "Sure, yeah," Kerr said. "If we deem that that's the best place for him to get a scrimmage in, then that will happen again."

It's been a long time coming for Klay Thompson

By the time Thompson takes to the court again it will be close to two years since he has played in an NBA game. Indeed Thompson hasn't played since June 13, 2019, when he tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Toronto. To make matters worse he then tore his Achilles tendon 16 months later. Though he has in fact been back on the court as he moved back and forth between the Warriors and their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, the Warriors have at all times opted for a slow and steady approach to his recovery. With the lengthy lay off, it is easy to imagine that Thompson is itching for the day of his return to arrive. "I hate to use the phrase 'can't wait,' because I love to be present in my life," Thompson said of his return. "But I cannot wait. I really, really enjoy being a Warrior."

How have the Warriors been without Thompson?

While Thompson's absence is undoubtedly a big loss, the reality is the Warriors are a league-best 23-5 this season, with the best defense, the fourth-best offense and the best net rating in the NBA. As if a declaration of that dominance, Warriors icon Steph Curry recently broke the all time 3-point shooting record becoming the greatest long range shooter in NBA history. One has to ask then, what will they do when Klay Thompson actually does step back onto the court?

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