Golden State Warriors’ shooting guard Klay Thompson has finally been cleared, and it comes at the perfect time.
Without Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry for a majority of this past season, the once-dominant Golden State Warriors saw little overall success. Such little success that their season concluded with the worst record in the league at an abysmal 15-50.
Curry missed significant time after having broken his hand earlier in the season, but he eventually came back into the lineup several months later.
As for Thompson, his injury was much more severe, having spent the entire season sidelined as he recovered from a torn ACL suffered in last year’s NBA Finals.
After a year away from the game, The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported that Thompson has recently been “training without restriction” after being medically cleared. With Golden State’s season now over, Thompson’s clearance of restrictions could not have come at a better time.
Had Thompson been cleared from his injury while the season was still taking place, he would have been in a similar position as Curry was.
With their vile record, everyone believed that letting the two-time MVP return to the court was a risky move given his injury and their nonexistent chances of contending.
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Nonetheless, Curry returned for one more game before the NBA suspended play because he wanted to get back on to the court.
Knowing Klay and the competitor that he is, he would have undoubtedly wanted to play despite their record. After all, this is the same player that wanted to continue playing after he tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last season.
Had the Warriors gotten invited to the NBA’s resumption in Orlando, Thompson would have undoubtedly wanted to get back out there with his team.
A situation like that would have placed the Warriors in a problematic position for the future, given the severity of the injury and potential risk.
Being cleared with the season now over, Thompson can spend the next few months, potentially longer, fully recovering and working on his game.
Depending on when the 2020-21 season eventually starts, the guard will have missed over a year and a half of game action due to the injury.
This extended time off due to Golden State’s early exit this season could give Thompson more time to prepare for his eventual return. Had he returned to action sooner and risked an injury, it could have been detrimental to the team’s future plans.
With a fully healthy roster, this Golden State team is capable of competing in the upper echelon in the NBA. If Thompson were to suffer another setback, it would essentially be another year down the drain for this team stacked with talent.
Hopefully, Thompson can use this long break to get back to his former self because when healthy, he is absolutely one of the top guards in the league today.
Last season, the five-time All-Star averaged 21.5 points per game on 46.7 percent field goal shooting and 40.2 percent from behind the arc as the team’s third option.
With Kevin Durant now gone, the Warriors need Klay Thompson to reclaim his spot as that second scoring option, and he is shaping up to have a big season in 2020-21.
If the Warriors hope to have any genuine chance of contending next season, they will need a healthy Klay Thompson beside Stephen Curry.
With an extended absence from the game, it appears he will be ready for his triumphant return to the court.