Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors thrilled to have 'the old Klay' Thompson back at official practice

SAN FRANCISCO -- Golden State Warriors' swingman Klay Thompson is beginning to look more like he used to during his recovery from a torn right ankle injury.
Thompson participated in his first team practice after suffering an injury during an offseason workout on Nov. 18, 2020. He made some great shots, much to the delight and surprise of his coaches and teammates.

After Tuesday's practice, Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated that "Klay looked great." "Shooting the lights. His team won the daily competition in shooting. He was happy, smiling, laughing, and joking about it. It was great to see the old Klay back."

Thompson hasn't been in an NBA game in over a year after sustaining a torn ACL to his left knee in Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors. He has been enjoying a good mood and bouncing around at the team's facility looking forward to playing again.

Kerr stated, "Everyone is excited Klay's out on the ground." He did almost everything in practice today. Although we didn't scrimmage and didn't have live contact, Klay was so happy to be playing, and we were all so happy to see him participate in it. It was a great first day and first few days. We are starting to get moving.

Although Thompson's return may be a while off, Kerr said that Thompson's presence at practice has provided an emotional boost for the rest of the group.

Kerr stated that "Part of it" is his spirit, energy, joy. "Yeah, Klay!' is another big part. We're getting Klay back, which increases our collective confidence. It makes us feel better. That's what I get from my guys."

Although the Warriors have not yet set a return date for Thompson, they said Monday that general manager Bob Myers stated that Thompson will be back in the Warriors' front office sometime in December or January. This was after he has completed his rehab.

Thompson said Monday that he is "probably like 75 to 80 percent of what I need do" in rehab. The Warriors are happy that Thompson is getting closer to his return. They can also see that Thompson's lengthy rehabilitation from two career-altering injuries made him more open to the game and all that it has to offer.

Kerr stated that he believes his time away caused him a lot more suffering. He lost the thing that he loves most. This is the first time this has ever happened. While he was away, he had to experience some struggles that likely illuminated some of those struggles that others face every day. It's quite normal to feel like you are growing and emotional expanding at this age. All of this is not surprising, considering what we know about Klay over time.

"He is a compassionate and aware person. It's just that he doesn't always display it to the rest of the world.