Image courtesy: Paul Chinn/The Chronicle

Perhaps amongst every player in the league today, Klay Thompson’s return is the most highly-anticipated. After succumbing from two major setbacks — first from a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, then followed by a gruesome torn Achilles prior to 2020-2021 season — the Golden State Warriors’ shooting guard can’t wait to feel the energy of the NBA basketball once again after being sidelined for two years. 

Thompson narrated his long recovery in NBC Sports’ HeadStrong series, and argued that the Achilles injury he sustained was much harder to accept than the first one he got in the championship series against Toronto Raptors since he prepared so hard to finally play again.

“For me, when it happened, it was hard to digest for a few months,” Thompson said. “It was hard, man. I can’t even lie to you, it was really really hard. Especially the second time around. The first time, I accepted it. Championship game, five-straight finals, stuff happens. The second time was just so unexpected. It was a week before the season. I was training so hard for like a year, year and a half actually.

“It sucked, it was like the darkest days of my life really. It’s because I love basketball so much. It’s my source, really. Just like the ocean, basketball has been my source since I was a child. That was a big test of my mental health, I learned a lot about how to stay mentally healthy through my rehabs. If there was a silver lining, that was it.”

The star sniper also gave credit to his family and friends for sticking around in his healing process, saying that he leaned on them during those dark times of rehabilitation.

“It takes great willpower. And on top of that, it takes a great support team around you. Friends, family, teammates. That is really important because when you do get in those dark places, you tend to isolate yourself, at least I do. So when you lean on your loved ones, lean on your friends, that’s what really got me through it. Just spending time with my friends and trying to do other things to expand your mind.”

Warriors aren’t releasing any timetable yet on Thompson’s comeback, but there were latest speculations that he might try to suit up around January next year.

For now, the organization is providing its die-hard supporters plenty of shooting drills and individual workout videos by the three-time champion. As such, these are positive signs that the comeback of the phenomenal shooter is nearing.