After a two-year layoff with significant injuries, there’s optimism Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will make his return against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, sources told ESPN.
A final decision on Thompson’s debut is expected to be made once the Warriors return from back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday in Dallas and New Orleans, sources said.
The Warriors and Thompson — a five-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion — had targeted two homes dates in January (Sunday vs. Cleveland and Jan. 18 vs. Detroit) but barring a setback, there’s increased optimism that his return will come in Sunday’s game at the Chase Center, sources said.
Thompson, 31, is returning from a torn left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and a right Achilles tear in a November 2020 workout.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr recently said that Thompson will return to the starting lineup immediately. Thompson could travel with the Warriors on the two-game trip to Dallas and New Orleans this week before returning to the Bay Area for two off days prior to Sunday’s game with Cleveland.
Thompson completed a productive five-day stay with Santa Cruz of the G League last month, where he played in three game-length scrimmages. His rehab has been complete, but he’s been working to elevate his conditioning as much as possible before rejoining a Warriors team holding the NBA’s best record at 28-7.
“We are looking forward to getting Klay back,” Warriors All-Star Draymond Green told reporters on Monday. “That takes this team to another level. We are extremely excited about that but nobody is expecting it to just be seamless. You want to try to make it as seamless as you possibly can but there is no way to guarantee that.”
A final decision is expected once the Warriors return Friday.
Last week he went on the road, and they had the game canceled at Denver and normal easy practice turned into a harder practice.