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Klay Thompson ‘progressing really well’ as Warriors surge

© Kelley L Cox | 2021 Nov 3

The Warriors already have the best record in the NBA, and they may be getting their second-most dangerous scorer back soon.

Klay Thompson, a five-time All-Star, played 5-on-5 for the first time since injuring his knee on Monday. He’s scheduled for another full run Wednesday, too.

After Golden State’s most impressive win of the season so far — a 117-99 statement in Brooklyn — Kerr provided a promising update on Thompson, who’s been cleared for contact.

“He played 5-on-5 yesterday and I think he’s going to play 5-on-5 tomorrow,” Kerr said. “Got good reports. A two-year absence requires a lot of work. Not just the rehab but the endurance, the strength. So it’s great that he played 5-on-5, but doesn’t mean he’s going to be ready to step on an NBA floor next week or something. But he’s progressing really well.”

Thompson didn’t make the trip with the team east, instead hanging back in the Bay to continue his rehab. He hasn’t played real NBA action since the end of the 2018-19 postseason, when he tore the ACL in his left knee during Game 6 of the 2019 Finals against Toronto.

Then in an offseason workout leading up to the 2020-21 season, Thompson tore his right Achilles tendon.

Draymond Green, who dominated defensively against the Nets, said the Warriors can’t wait to get Thompson back, but also shouldn’t rush him.

In his most recent season, Thompson averaged 21.5 points and shot 40.2% from 3. He’s been one of the best two-way wings in basketball since entering the league in 2011.

Promising forward James Wiseman, meanwhile, hasn’t been cleared for 5-on-5 quite yet, Kerr said. The coach added that there’s no structural issues with Wiseman’s knee after he suffered a torn meniscus last season.

“It’s an injury that requires a lot of give-and-take and daily maintenance and kind of checking in on how he’s doing,” Kerr said of Wiseman. “You remember last year, Jaren Jackson had the same injury. It’s a long process.”

Jackson’s rehab process took eight months and 18 days. Wiseman injured his knee trying to dunk against the Houston Rockets on April 10 — roughly seven months ago. The 7-foot-1 center could return as early as Thanksgiving as reported, but that appears on the earlier side when considering Jackson’s timetable.

With the Warriors playing as well as they are, there’s no reason to push either Wiseman or Thompson. And re-integrating them, whenever they’re ready, into such a successful roster is a great problem to have.


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