Photo: Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors are reportedly targeting their Christmas Day game against the Phoenix Suns for the return of Klay Thompson, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said today on The Jump.

December 25 is a “conservative target” for Thompson, notes Shelburne, as the Warriors won’t rush their star back.

Thompson will need to get his conditioning up to speed before ultimately returning to game action.

The 31-year-old hasn’t played a game in the NBA since June 2019.

“He could come back a little bit before (December 25), but in terms of getting his conditioning right, they’re targeting the Christmas Day game against the Suns,” Shelburne said. “I know that sounds a little late to people, but he was injured on November 18, so this is 13 months from an Achilles injury. … If he does well and his conditioning is up and he feels like he wants to come back earlier, he will. … (But) you need time to build your conditioning back up when you miss two NBA seasons.”

Thompson first suffered a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and missed the entire 2019-20 season.

Just when he was almost fully recovered from that injury, he then tore his Achilles in a pickup game in Southern California on Nov. 18 and missed the 2020-21 season.

If the Warriors want to get back to the top of the Western Conference and compete for a championship again, getting Thompson back is a step in the right direction.