Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not play this season, though it has not been ruled out that he could still compete in the Olympics this summer.
It was expected that Thompson would miss the entire season as he recovers from a torn knee ligament, and the Warriors said it definitively before their game against Houston on Thursday night. Coach Steve Kerr said it is too early to rule Thompson out to play for the U.S. team and he hasn't formed an opinion on what would be best for Thompson given July is still five months away.
“Just the determination by the training staff that even though he's coming along well there isn't really any chance that he's playing,” Kerr said. “This is what I expected from the beginning given the severity of the injury and the normal timetable, and so here we are. It's no surprise.”
Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee last June 13 during the deciding Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and had surgery July 2. He was re-evaluated over the All-Star break and the team said Stephen Curry's Splash Brother “is making good progress and is right on track with his rehabilitation timeline.”
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Golden State expects him ready to go for training camp in late September. It has been hard for Kerr to see Thompson lose something that he loves so much.
“It's been a very frustrating year for Klay but I think he's almost out of the woods. He's a couple months away from this season ending and him moving toward a summer of preparing for the next season with his teammates, so I think that's a much better place for him to be emotionally,” Kerr said.
“I really felt bad for him. Klay loves to play basketball so much, he loves this game. It means so much to him. In some ways he's kind of been lost without it. He's been so anxious to be out there on the floor helping his teammates.”
The question now will be whether Thompson still wants to play in Tokyo if he is able despite not having returned to game action.
An update on Curry's recovery and progress from a broken left hand is planned for Feb. 28 and he expects to be back on the court in March.
Curry, Draymond Green and Thompson all have expressed their hopes of playing for the Americans this summer if healthy. Green's chances of making the team are uncertain.
Kerr and Thompson have yet to discuss the Olympics.
“It's not off the table. It's still a possibility,” Kerr said. “... His health is the No. 1 concern so we'll kind of cross that bridge when we come to it.”
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