The Golden State Warriors were expected to be one of the teams to seriously challenge the Los Angeles Lakers next season, but their title aspirations suffered a blow after All-Star Klay Thompson went down with an Achilles injury in a workout over a year after recovering from an ACL injury suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Before his injuries, Thompson was one of the league’s best guards. He’s a five-time All Star and a big reason why the Warriors were three-time champions this past decade and made the NBA Finals for five consecutive years. In 2018-2019, he still averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 48.8% from the field and 44.0% from beyond the arc.
But after battling ACL and Achilles injuries, there are questions on whether he can make a full recovery. Ethan Strauss of The Athletic asked Dr. Brian Sutterer, a sports injury doctor, about the 30-year-old Thompson’s chances of making a full recovery:
“I think it depends on who’s defining full recovery. I think, no matter how good your rehab is, how great your surgery went, your tissues are always different after you’ve had a surgery. So, if the surgeon is saying a full recovery is expected, that probably means something different from the coach or the general manager saying full recovery because they envision full performance recovery, as opposed to full basic functional recovery, which is what a surgeon might be saying.
“So, I think it certainly is possible that he can get back to a similar version of what his natural career trajectory would have been, but there’s no doubt that it will be the hardest thing he’s ever done on a basketball court in his life.”
While Sutterer said that Klay Thompson’s tissue will definitely undergo changes after he recovers from injury, it’s certainly a good sign that there is a chance that he can still return to his old form when he returns. It will take a lot of work, but the Warriors guard has been there before and should be up to the task.