Klay Thompson has a long road of recovery in front of him but the Golden State Warriors’ star should feel optimistic.
Klay Thompson suffered a season-ending Achilles injury just under a month ago dampening the mood in and around the Golden State Warriors’ organization. Many wonder if Thompson can even actually return let alone at full strength.
Despite everything, the Warriors should hold out hope that their star shooting guard will return at close to his best in 2021-22.
Golden State should be buoyed by the fact that both Rudy Gay and Dominque Wilkins played well after their respective surgeries. Gay even came back statistically improved, something which should encourage the Dubs.
The Warriors could also find further insight in regards to what Klay’s performance could be like with Kevin Durant and John Wall both returning from Achilles injuries this season.
Normally players tend to lose a step after suffering an Achilles tear, many view the injury as “basketball death”. However, Thompson has since been told he will make a full recovery per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Normally players returning from Achilles injuries have to adapt their games to accommodate for their diminished athleticism as a result of the injury. Thankfully Thompson’s offensive game isn’t reliant on athleticism and his shooting will likely remain.
However, Thompson’s days of being in the conversation for All-NBA defensive teams will likely be gone, even if he can return at near full strength he will likely lose a step on that end.
What happens with Durant and Wall will likely give the Warriors an idea, not necessarily a perfect sample but an idea of what Thompson could be like when is back to full health.
Klay’s injury is reportedly on the “less bad” scale in regards to Achilles injury per The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss. Tears alongside the heel bone or calf muscle insertion point present complications.
Tears in other regions are typically more straightforward, Thompson’s “less bad” diagnosis indicates his recovery will be more on the straightening side.
If Thompson is on his way to full recovery, the Warriors will make an indication early as was documented when Gay was on his way back in San Antonio.
Gay was reportedly ahead of every recovery benchmark the Spurs had. The former Raptor then came defied the odds and impressed all observers. If Klay is to make a successful comeback the Warriors will make an early indication.
Gay’s return was impressive for the Spurs, largely because improved performances are rare, especially after such a severe injury. Although his points per game decreased his shooting percentages in 2018-19 were a career-high, his rebounds per game were the second-highest of his career and his assists were the fourth highest in his now 15-year career.
Should Durant and Wall come backfiring at near their best, that will give the Warriors further confidence that Thompson will be back at close to his best.