Klay Thompson hasn't appeared in an NBA game in over two years, but the Golden State Warriors star is now just a few weeks away from making his long-awaited return. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like fans will be getting a Thompson-shaped gift on or before Christmas.
According to Shams Charania and Anthony V. Slater of The Athletic, Thompson won't be making his debut in the two games the Warriors play before Christmas, and he won't debut on Christmas Day.
The Warriors do not plan for Klay Thompson to debut on either Dec. 20 or Dec. 23 home games, sources tell me and @anthonyVslater. Thompson won't come back on Christmas. So earliest possible return would be Dec. 28 -- with Thompson ramping up conditioning over next couple weeks.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 16, 2021
Dec. 28 is identified as the earliest possible date Thompson could return, but it's far from certain (or even likely) that he'll debut before the start of 2022.
Thompson has been out since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. He tore his ACL in that series-ending game (which the Warriors lost) and missed the entire 2019-20 season. He was on track to return for the 2020-21 season and had started practicing with the Warriors again in September 2020, but then he suffered an Achilles injury while playing a pickup game. Just like that, his 2020-21 season was over before it began.
The five-time All-Star had been practicing with the Warriors' G League team until a few days ago, when the Warriors recalled him and James Wiseman from the Santa Cruz Warriors.