With hopeful speculation abounding about when Klay Thompson could return, Steve Kerr inserted the needle into the balloon.
In stating to NBC Sports Bay Area that it’s “unlikely” the shooting guard would return this season, he calmed expectations for both the team and the All-Star, a move Kerr says was not strategic but more out of “a little” frustration.
Thompson had surgery July 2 for an injury that typically takes about nine-to-12 months for recovery. Kerr himself tore his ACL in college and missed an entire season. The Warriors’ stated plan has been for Thompson to be reevaluated at the All-Star break in February.
That’s seven months removed from his going under the knife, and many — Thompson included — made the leap that it was a sensible time for a quick-to-heal Thompson to return to the Warriors’ wing.
“There’s so many media outlets and there’s such a need for discussion points and headlines. To be honest, I wasn’t even trying to make a point” in revealing Thompson likely wouldn’t play this season, Kerr said on “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks” on KNBR. “… There was no strategy behind it. I kept getting all these questions, you know, ‘When Klay comes back…’ We made the decision as an organization we would evaluate at the All-Star break. But I think a lot of people took that to mean, there’s a chance Klay’s coming back after the All-Star break. Like, right after the All-Star break, which is totally unrealistic.”
With a fanbase eager for good news and media hoard eager for any news, Kerr took any pressure off Thompson if he felt he needed to return this season.
“I was probably a little frustrated,” Kerr said. “I just wanted people to understand that, look, it’s unlikely. It’s possible, if everything goes perfectly and our training staff says he’s ready to go, yeah, it’s possible.”
Kerr said Thompson would return when he’s able to return (possibly a sore spot after Kevin Durant’s injury).
Asked why fans might not accept that gray answer, Kerr said: “I’d like you to ask your fanbase. If you’re out there listening: Isn’t that enough?”