Warriors’ Steve Kerr leaves door open to Klay Thompson returning to Santa Cruz

BOSTON — The Warriors said Friday that Klay Thompson’s completed a “successful” rehab assignment with Santa Cruz, but coach Steve Kerr left the door open to the shooting guard returning for a third stint with the G League squad.

Thompson, who has missed the past 30 months with tears to his left anterior cruciate ligament and right Achilles tendon, spent past week scrimmaging in Santa Cruz while the Warriors were on the road but was recalled Wednesday in a procedural move, along with James Wiseman; neither is on the verge of rejoining the team on the court.

While the Warriors have never set an official target date for Thompson’s first game back, it had been reported that the team was optimistic he could make his return as early as the week before Christmas. However, it’s now looking more likely that won’t come until January, according to a report Friday by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnawrowski.

The Warriors, who want Thompson’s long-awaited return to come in front of their home fans at Chase Center, are eyeing two dates in mid-January, according to the report: Jan. 9 vs. Cleveland and Jan. 18 vs. Detroit, though Jan. 3 vs. Miami has not been ruled out.

The situation is complicated by the Warriors’ schedule in January, which features only two home games in the first half of the month, in addition to the touch-and-go process of building back Thompson’s conditioning to NBA standards following a 30-month absence; he hasn’t played competitively since he tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

“I don’t know exactly how it’s going to pan out,” Kerr said. “I know that when we get back from this trip I’ll put my head together with (Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Rick (Celebrini)’s and Klay’s and we’ll talk about it – and Bob (Myers) – and we’ll see where everything stands.”

The ESPN report comes a day after The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the earliest target date had moved beyond Golden State’s Christmas Day showdown in Phoenix, but now it appears unlikely that Jan. 3 or Dec. 28 vs. Denver are options.

As the timeline is extended, that makes another trip to Santa Cruz all the more likely; it’s where Thompson has spent the majority of his time during the Warriors’ past two road trips.

Asked before tipoff Friday if Thompson could make another stop in Santa Cruz, Kerr said, “Sure, if we deem that’s the best place for him to scrimmage in.”

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