Golden State Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr gave a bitter dose of reality on Tuesday when he said that it is likely that Warriors’ superstar guard Klay Thompson is likely to miss the entire 2019-2020 season as he recovers from a torn ACL, according to NBC Sports’ Logan Murdock.
Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals that took place back on June 13th.
There had been hope that Thompson may be able to make it back this season, at some point, with Warriors general manager Bob Myers saying last month that Thompson would be sidelined until at least the All-Star break.
“It’s unlikely that he’s going to play this year,” Kerr said during an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “So we have to understand that.”
“You have to look at it realistically,” Kerr said. “I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it’s a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.
“We’ve kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. … April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.
“We have to prepare our young guys to fill that role behind him, and when he gets back, whenever that is, hopefully these young guys now are developed and in the rotation and ready to really be contributors on a playoff team and we can get better,” Kerr stated.
Thompson has been around the team in recent weeks, and Kerr said it has been an adjustment for him being off the court.
“He’s bored,” Kerr said. “I mean, Klay loves basketball, he loves to play, so he’s at the point in his rehab, three-plus months in, where his knee feels pretty good. He’s not in pain. He can get out there and shoot around, but he’s got to let it heal, and he can’t run, he can’t cut. So we’ll see him in the weight room, in the training room, getting his work in.
“But I feel bad for him. You never feel part of it unless you’re actually playing and with the guys, and he misses that.”
With the loss of Thompson to injury, Kevin Durant to free agency, and the trade of Andre Iguodala, Kerr admits that this year’s approach is very different to that of the past few years heading into the regular season.
“It’s very different,” Kerr said. “There’s a lot more teaching this year than there has been in the last five. Things that the last group would have known in their sleep, these young guys have never seen before, and so we are literally going back to the basics day in and day out.”
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