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Klay Thompson: 3 numbers to target for the Warriors star when he returns from ACL tear

Warriors, Klay Thompson

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson will be sidelined until he recovers from a torn ACL that he suffered during the NBA Finals. The team doesn’t expect him to return to the lineup until sometime after the All-Star Break.

There was a recent interview with 95.7 The Game that Thompson’s father, Mychal, recently did and discussed a possible timetable for his son’s return to the Warriors’ lineup. He mentioned that he is ‘hoping’ that Klay could return ‘sometime in March’ and that aligns with the team’s expectations.

“I’m hoping sometime in March,” he said, via 95.7 The Game. “There’s no definitive date, but that would be nine months from the injury. As long as he’s dedicated and determined in his rehab.

“He’s got a great physical therapy staff. He’ll know before March — somebody in February or January — how he’s feeling going through all the basketball drills.

“If he has so sit out a year then so be it. He’ll know he feels, the Warriors will know how he feels, when it’s that time to make that decision.”

While the progress that Thompson makes in the rehab process will ultimately determine when he will be able to play in games, the consensus is that he will be able to play at some point.

Here are three numbers for Klay Thompson to target this season:

3. Average close to 15 points per game

While Thompson has averaged at least 20 points per game since the 2014-15 season, he will surely be playing fewer minutes after he returns to the lineup while he works his way back. That will likely cause a reduction in his regular scoring volume.

The Warriors will be led by Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell in the scoring department but they will need Thompson to slide in as a third scorer. Averaging close to 15 points per game would be a strong goal in reduced playing time as the team wouldn’t have to rely on complementary players to produce at uncharacteristic levels.

2. Shoot near 45 percent from 3-point range

Last season, Thompson got off to a slow start from deep as he shot 34.4 percent through the end of December. He managed to shot above 45 percent each month after that period until April and that raised his season-wide figure to 40.2 percent.

Being able to get off to a hot start upon his return by shooting at a 45 percent clip would provide the Warriors with a considerable boost. Having a strong perimeter shooting trio of Curry, Russell, and Thompson would provide opposing teams with a challenge to defend.

1. Play in 10-15 games before the season ends

Managing to return before the end of the regular season is up to how Thompson’s body reacts during the rehab process. He can still set goals for himself to try to accomplish.

Striving to appear in 10-to-15 games seems like enough of a sample size for Thompson to try to build rhythm before a potential playoff series. At the very least, this would provide him with an idea of where he’s at physically heading into the offseason.