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Warriors' Klay Thompson admits to errors during recovery process

The Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson was sidelined by injury for more than two years. Having recently returned, he opened up about the journey.

Update:
The Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson was sidelined by injury for more than two years. Having recently returned, he opened up about the journey.
AFP

A long term injury lay off is not an easy thing to take in any sport at any level, but when you're playing at the highest level there is and your time out extends past two years, that can be quite a thing to overcome and it's not always the case that professional athletes do it in the best way.

Warriors' Klay Thompson was out for a long time

When Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson stepped on to the court on January 9th 2022, it was the first time in more than two years that he was suiting up for his team. Thompson had been out since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Playoff Finals when he tore his ACL. After that he would undergo surgery for the injury before going on to tear his Achilles tendon for which he would also have to go under the knife. Today he's back in the team and they are better for it, with the talk having quickly changed to the Warriors' chances of winning a championship this season. Indeed Golden State currently has the second-best record in the league at 42-17.

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Yet it would paint an inaccurate picture if attention wasn't given to what Thompson had to endure over the last two years, as he watched his team cope in his absence. Speaking recently in an interview, Thompson was candid about the realization that he could have been more cautious during his ACL recovery, as he believes it more than likely contributed to the tear which he sustained in his Achilles.

Klay Thompson discusses his mistakes during rehab

Below you can find an excerpt from the interview which gives a clear insight as to where Thompson's head was at during his recovery process:

"The first time around I came back even bouncier," Thompson promises. "I came back strong, feeling great." For the purpose of context it should be noted that there are different stages involved in the critical and final part of recovery from a serious injury. While Thompson's knee had healed, he didn't have access to the Warriors facility due to its closure as a result of the pandemic. That being said, those who interacted with him during recovery were all in sync regarding how well he was progressing. As a result, Thompson kept training and playing with no real regard given to how that would affect his bio-mechanics and whether or not he was making a down payment on a reactionary injury.

"I wasn't at playing weight," Thompson said. "I was really strong. I was doing a lot of lifting, strengthening my knee. But I just missed the game so much at that time and I was cleared to play 5-on-5. But I'm not sure if it was the right move." For clarity, Thompson explained that during November 2020 he weighed approximately 226 pounds as opposed to his norm of 216-220, which as he said, "That's too big to be a shooting guard in my frame." It's that extra weight that Thompson believes contributed to the Achilles injury that came next. Between his impatience and extra weight the Warriors shooting guard thinks it was the right circumstances for the chain reaction that he experienced in his body.

"It might've been costly," Thompson said. "I don't know. I try not to think about it too much. But it just, uh, it's something I learned from. I'm not in my early 20s anymore, where I can just play all offseason. That's what I was trying to do. Going forward, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to save it for the season." While there will never truly be a way to confirm that his suspicions are true the reality is Thompson is very clear on the idea that he rushed the process. In that admission alone, Thompson stated something that many athletes professional or otherwise are normally reluctant to admit.

Klay Thompson and the Warrios look ahead

An "alarm bell." That's how Warriors' head coach Steve Kerr referred to the whole scenario. The warriors for their part tried their absolute best to ensure Thompson had the best possible chance at recovery. In fact it could be said that their extra care is what directly contributed to the constant changes in Thompson's projected return date. Initially it had been suggested that he would return at Christmas, but in the end it would be mid January before he would take to the court.

All things considered, the time and effort has paid off. While Thompson has shown signs of rust, he is regaining his rhythm bit by bit. In the six games that he has played before the All-Star break, he posted 19.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, while shooting 44% from beyond the arc.

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