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The Golden State Warriors and All-Star guard Klay Thompson are targeting a January return, with key dates looming on Jan. 9 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Jan. 18 against the Detroit Pistons, sources told ESPN.
The Warriors and Thompson haven’t ruled out a Jan. 3 game against the Miami Heat, but that’s considered far less likely, sources said.
The Warriors and Thompson want his return from a two-year absence to come at home, and the Jan. 9 and Jan. 18 dates have fallen into place as strong targets as Thompson continues to ramp up his conditioning, sources said.
Thompson recently completed a productive five-day stay with Santa Cruz of the G-League, where he played in three game-length scrimmages. Thompson’s rehab is complete, and he is working now to elevate his conditioning to the highest possible level before rejoining a Warriors team that is tied for the NBA’s best record at 23-5.
Thompson is coming off a torn left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and a right Achilles tear in November 2020.
Before Friday night’s game against the Boston Celtics, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it was still unclear exactly how the timing of Thompson’s return would work, but that he would speak to Thompson, Warriors GM Bob Myers and Warriors director of sports medicine and performance Rick Celibrini when the Warriors return from their east coast road trip.
“I don’t know how exactly it’s going to pan out right now,” Kerr said. “I know that when we get back from this trip, I’ll put my head together with Rick’s and Klay’s and we’ll talk about it and Bob and we’ll see where everything stands. But I know he’s doing great. He was in Santa Cruz this week and had a couple good days there, so it’s all going along smoothly, but we don’t have a date yet.”
Kerr said it was still a possibility for Thompson to get back to the Warriors’ G-League affiliate in Santa Cruz over the next couple of weeks for some more scrimmage work.
“Sure, yeah,” Kerr said. “If we deem that that’s the best place for him to get a scrimmage in, then that will happen again.”
ESPN’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.
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