Klay Thompson has suffered an apparent lower right leg injury Wednesday, and he is undergoing tests to determine the severity of that injury, the Warriors confirmed. The fear is that Thompson suffered an Achilles injury, Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reports, and will need an MRI on Thursday. Bill Reiter of CBS Sports reports that the expectation is that the injury is believed to be serious.
Thompson was unable to put any weight on the leg after the injury, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Thompson, who missed the entire 2019-20 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, was set to return and play in his first NBA game in 18 months when the season begins in December. Now, obviously, that is up in the air.
Prior to the torn ACL, Thompson was one of the NBA’s most reliably durable players. He never missed more than nine games in a season before the 2019-20 campaign. But a torn ACL is among the most serious injuries a basketball player can suffer, and while medical advancements have made it far more manageable in recent years, major knee injuries often lead to further issues as players overcompensate in adjustment.
The Warriors have the tools to survive a prolonged absence from Thompson. Stephen Curry is expected to return at full strength when the season begins. Draymond Green is healthy and in place. The Warriors got Andrew Wiggins at the trade deadline, and as of this writing, have the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Their taxpayer mid-level exception and the $17 million trade exception generated through the Andre Iguodala trade can be used to add talent.
But the Warriors had hoped to launch themselves back into championship contention behind the trio of Curry, Green and Thompson. If Klay is not healthy enough to contribute in the playoffs, Golden State simply isn’t a championship contender. They’ll have to hope that this injury isn’t severe enough to compromise his postseason.