Warriors targeting February or March return for Klay Thompson

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have to worry about re-signing Klay Thompson as soon as free agency opens up Sunday evening.

With that becoming a near guarantee, they will soon turn to helping Thompson with his rehab from a torn ACL the All-Star guard suffered in the NBA Finals.

Unlike Kevin Durant’s Achilles rupture, there’s real hope that Thompson can return for a nice chunk of the 2019-20 season. At the very least, this is what the Warriors believe internally.

“The feeling internally is that he will be back some point February or March kind of as the target dates,” ESPN’s Nick Friedell reported recently (h/t Pro Basketball Talk).

ACL injuries are not what they used to be. While they still do require several months of rehab, multiple players have come back 100 percent healthy long before the previous timeline of a calendar year.

That’s been one of the major medical advancements within the sports world over the past several years.

A February return would enable Thompson to get a nice chunk of regular-season experience in before a potential playoff run.

The Warriors are expected to offer Thompson a full five-year, $190 million max contract once free agency opens this weekend. Thompson is expected to accept it in short order.

With Durant’s future in Northern California undecided, it’s important that Golden State at least retains the core of Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. It’s also important that Klay’s rehab from the torn ACL goes smoothly.