It seems that Klay Thompson isn't ready to return just yet after all.
The Golden State Warriors shooting guard was apparently cleared to be a full participant in practices, The Athletic reported on Sunday. The progress would have meant that star is reportedly on track for a return the week before Christmas in San Francisco.
Hours later, though, Warriors coach Steve Kerr denied knowing anything about that.
Steve Kerr said nobody has told him Klay Thompson is fully cleared to practice with the team. "I don't know where that came from."
— Mark Haynes (@markhaynesnba) November 21, 2021
Whenever Thompson is cleared, it will be his first game-like action against current NBA players since he suffered a torn left ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals. He suffered a torn right Achilles tendon in November 2020, one month before the season was to start, during a scrimmage as he prepared to return for the season. As of Sunday, it has been 892 days since the three-time NBA champion has appeared in a game. He spent the past week doing 5-on-5 scrimmages with players not currently on the top roster.
Thompson's return timeline for December
The timeline is in line with a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski last week that Thompson's "target date for his return will be set probably within the next couple weeks." It's also in tune with general manager Bob Myers' loose preseason remark that the return might be "sometime maybe in December, maybe in January, I don't know when."
Head coach Steve Kerr has said he wants Thompson, a fan favorite to Warriors fans and NBA fans alike, to make his return at home. Warriors team owner Joe Lacob said in October it will be "one of the all-time great days at Chase Center and in the history of Warriors basketball."
The Warriors, a league-best 14-2 going into Sunday, are on the road from Dec. 11-18 for an East Coast trip. Anything before that date seems far too soon for Thompson to come back.
That leaves games on Dec. 20 (Sacramento Kings) and Dec. 23 (Memphis Grizzlies) as potential debut dates for Thompson.
The Christmas Day game against the Suns, which has been circled on NBA calendars since the schedule came out, is in Phoenix. If Thompson doesn't return before it, he could make his debut on Dec. 28 at home against the Denver Nuggets ahead of a two-game road trip.