And they haven’t seen Klay Thompson play basketball since June 13, when he tore his ACL on the same night that the Warriors season ended.
It’s going to be a while longer before fans get to see the Splash Brothers in something other than their sideline suits, which, it must be noted, have been highly fashionable. And while fans will have to be patient in awaiting the return of the deadliest shooting combo in NBA history, they’ll soon receive something to further whet their appetites: Re-evaluations.
The Warriors record has been trending downward, but the health of two franchise cornerstones is zipping in the other direction. And the dates that will be circled on the calendar in a red sharpie are quickly approaching.
Curry is still scheduled to be re-evaluated on February 1, the target date ever since his first of two surgeries. Thompson - whose timeline for has been less specific - will be re-evaluated over the All-Star break, which runs from February 13-19. Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke shared the updated timelines on Friday morning, from the team’s shootaround prior to their evening game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Word from the Warriors is Steph will be reevaluted on Feb 1 and Klay will be reevaluted at the All Star Break regarding their injuries and potential playing dates this season.— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) January 10, 2020
It bears noting that re-evaluation emphatically does not mean that the players will be cleared to play then, or anytime shortly after. It just means we’re closer to having a more pinned-down timeline for when they will make it to the court.
Just a few days ago, Steve Kerr shared his thoughts on the injuries on the Posted Up podcast, hosted by Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. There, the Warriors coach admitted that Thompson likely will miss the entirety of the season, but expressed optimism about Curry’s return.
“I think there’s an excellent chance [Curry] comes back sometime in March - late in the season,” Kerr said, as transcribed by Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. “Our fans deserve to see him play, he’s dying to play, our young players want to play with him. . . . Klay, I doubt will play.”
Kerr, it’s worth noting, is notoriously conservative with these types of things. His style is to set a modest expectation, avoid unnecessary pressure, and leave the door open to surprise rather than disappoint. So perhaps we see Curry sometime in February. After all, he has been teasing fans with a return in recent days:
Scenes from LA: Steph Curry shooting with Draymond Green in an Alen Smailagic jersey pic.twitter.com/Ap4DF7m4dN— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 10, 2020
Third straight day Steph Curry has been spotted going through a normal shooting routine, not hindered by the left hand. Here’s video. pic.twitter.com/MMc1A7Af0c— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 9, 2020
He’s been at it for almost an hour now. Stephen Curry shooting like he’ll be ready to play today. Plan is to reevaluate in 2-3 weeks. pic.twitter.com/Dn5N4ZekQP— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) January 9, 2020
Thompson has been showing steady signs as well, though it still remains unlikely that we see him anytime before October. There’s simply no reason to be anything other than ultra-conservative, given the nature of both his injury and the team’s season.
Still, seeing him shooting jumpers in a jersey gets the mind wandering a bit.
Klay in full uni and headband hitting fadeaway trey on pass from Zaza. Warriors practice is lit. pic.twitter.com/TlAlavrcaK— Ali Thanawalla (@Ali_Thanawalla) December 29, 2019
It’s still a touch too soon to start thinking about when exactly the Splash Brothers will return. But we can at least start thinking about what news we’ll hear in the next month. In a season like this, that’s worth a lot.