Klay Thompson’s Debut Will Not Be Until After The Warriors Christmas Day Game

Klay Thompson is steadily working his way back into game shape, regularly joining the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz for practices in order to get scrimmage time at full speed — something NBA teams rarely do during in-season practices.

Thompson has said he is healthy enough to play right now, but won’t return to the court until he can play a full minutes load, saying two weeks ago he felt he could go 25-30 minutes tops. While there was some optimism that Thompson would be back in action for the Warriors in time for their Christmas Day tilt with the Suns, it appears that is no longer the case. Word emerged from Shams Charania on Thursday that Golden State’s games on Dec. 20 and 23 were no longer in the mix for Klay’s return, with Connor Letourneau and Kendra Andrews confirming, noting that Dec. 28 at home against Denver is possible, but it seems more likely Thompson will not return until after the new year.

The Warriors are in a good enough position at the moment, 23-5 and atop the West standings, that there is no need to try and rush Thompson back if there is any concern that he isn’t ready to be a full go. His return is definitely going to be at the Chase Center in front of the home crowd, which means that Dec. 28 game against the Nuggets, Jan. 3 against the Heat, or Jan. 9 against the Cavs feel like the three most likely dates for his return to action.