Klay Thompson Hopes To Return Early Next Season, Envisions Playing Into His Late 30s

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Klay Thompson hopes to return from his Achilles injury toward the beginning of the 21-22 season.

“Absolutely,” said Thompson when asked about his return. “It could be a few weeks after, maybe a month after, but it’s definitely going to be geared toward the very beginning of the season.”

Thompson suffered the injury on Nov. 18th during a workout in Los Angeles.

“[The Achilles injury] just happened on a true dribble, pull-up jump shot, a move I do 100 times a day,” Thompson said. “So, it was just an unfortunate series of events. Nothing I could have ever prepared for, nor prevented. I was working my butt off 10 months up to that point, and you just got to go back to the drawing board. I knew I did it right away, and it’s in the past, but I’m getting better every day.”

With the 21-22 season expected to begin in mid-October, Thompson would have less than a year for his Achilles recovery. Kevin Durant suffered his torn Achilles in June of 2019 and played in his first game back in December of 2020.

Thompson said the mental toll of the recovery has been difficult, but he believes he has many years of basketball left considering the nature of his game.

“It’s way harder than any basketball game I’ve ever had to play,” Thompson said. “Way harder than any conditioning drill or practice. The mental toll is not very fun. You always guess if you’re going to be the same player you once were, so you have those natural thoughts, but you can’t let those overtake you, and you got to realize that this is not unique just to me. So many athletes have been through this. Although I was used to playing 100 games a year for the first eight years of my career, this is just a new set of challenges; and with my style of play, I feel like could be effective ’til my late 30s, so I’m not going to feel sorry for myself right now.

“I’m just going to keep buckling down and keep doing what I love to do.”