Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is unlikely to return this season following ACL surgery, coach Steve Kerr said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area (via Logan Murdock).
"It's unlikely that he's going to play this year," Kerr said. "So we have to understand that."
Thompson and the Warriors have reached the Final in five straight seasons, winning three championships. They are coming off a Finals defeat to the Toronto Raptors -- in which both Thompson and then-star forward Kevin Durant (Achilles) suffered season-ending injuries.
Durant has since moved on to the Brooklyn Nets and Thompson is out, leaving Steph Curry and Draymond Green as the two All-Stars from the runs to the Finals. The Warriors also added star guard D'Angelo Russell from the Nets.
But it appears life without Thompson for this season is something to which the Warriors will have to become accustomed.
"You have to look at it realistically," Kerr said. "I had an ACL (tear) in college and I missed the whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery. If it's a full year for Klay, that puts him out for the season.
"We've kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that's the nine-month mark."
Thompson, 29, is 6-foot-7 and averaged 21.5 points in 78 regular-season games last season. Until now, the Warriors had avoided major injuries during their Finals runs.
But playing so hard and so long during the regular season eventually takes its toll and sadly, the Warriors seem to be feeling it now.