Dealing with injuries can be a grueling mental game as difficult as the actual physical implications of said injury. For Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors, watching his former teammate, Kevin Durant, make a full recovery from his ruptured Achilles is an encouraging sign.
Thompson has been sidelined since the 2019 NBA Finals when he tore his ACL on a breakaway play. One long rehabbing process and a global pandemic later, Thompson’s opportunity to return was cut short when he ruptured his Achilles before the 2020-21 season began.
These types of injuries are the absolute worst in sports. Watching a guy come so close to making a recovery, only to fall down with another long-term injury is as brutal as it gets. However, Thompson says he has been inspired by Durant, who has gone down a similar path and emerged on top.
Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors have been able to look at Kevin Durant’s recovery process and feel encouraged for themselves.
Durant suffered a semi-minor injury during the 2019 NBA Playoffs. He likely would have been fine, but with a nod from the Warriors’ medical staff, Durant elected to give it a go and take the floor for Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. We know what happens next… a ruptured Achilles, the end of the season and the end of an era for Golden State.
Roughly two years have passed since then and Durant is now having a miraculous MVP caliber season in Brooklyn. Alongside his new star teammates of James Harden and Kyrie Irving, Durant is leading the charge with an average of 29.5 points per game – the most since his 2014 MVP season.
While COVID protocols have caused KD to miss a few games recently, he’s been mostly healthy all season long and made his return to Golden State on Saturday night. Here, we had an in-person opportunity to see how far Durant has come since collapsing in the finals. Durant scored 20 points as the Nets routed the Warriors in a 134-117 victory.
Durant looks healthy and there’s reason to believe Thompson will match his recovery process. Before the game on Saturday, Steve Kerr had this to say about Thompson and KD:
“He definitely feels good about watching Kevin and his performance and how well he’s playing and how good he looks physically.” (Via ESPN)
Thompson should feel encouraged. Durant is a little bit older than Thompson and much more of a physical anomaly. Players as tall as Durant shouldn’t be able to move so fluidly – but yet, he’s fully recovered from an Achilles injury and looks as good as ever. This means there is a good chance we see Thompson make a full recovery as well.