The Golden State Warriors are slowly returning to a sense of normalcy as they get closer to next week’s regular season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers. To aid in that effort for normalcy, Steve Kerr announced that Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will return for the team’s fifth and final preseason matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.
Steve Kerr says Klay and Draymond will play in the final preseason game tomorrow pic.twitter.com/Xmvifn2bGe— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) October 13, 2022
Green rejoins the Warriors after a self-imposed leave following the incident where he punched teammate Jordan Poole during practice. After coaches and players – specifically Poole – decided that a suspension was unnecessary, Green was cleared to return for Friday and will presumably start on opening night.
Meanwhile, Thompson rejoins the team for his first preseason action of the year. There are no reports of any injuries for Thompson, but he has been cautious about playing during the offseason due to previously sustained injuries he suffered over the past couple of years.
During the Warriors two-game trip to Japan earlier this month, Thompson revealed that there was still an unresolved “mental block” he needed to overcome before partaking in zero-stakes basketball scrimmages again.
Klay Thompson didn’t play pickup this summer. Called it a “mental block” he will eventually get over because of torn Achilles in summer ball. But that’s slowed his preseason ramp up. Called next week a “big week” as he revs back up for regular season.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 1, 2022
Here he is explaining it pic.twitter.com/0ZCCmWYFO1
“Yeah, I didn’t play a lot this summer,” Thompson said. “It was hard especially what I went through the last summer I was healthy and popped my Achilles. It was really hard for me to get out there and – just mentally it was hard. It’s hard to explain. It’s like a mental block in a way. I’m going to face it one day, but this season was so taxing just coming back. It was hard to win a championship then a month later to play — it’s just there’s a lot, but I look forward to playing summer basketball again.”
Green and Thompson will join Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney to reunite the original starting lineup from last season’s championship team. This also means that Poole – who has been excellent starting in Thompson’s place – will move back to his role as sixth man off the bench.
Considering the vast contrast in circumstances when it comes to the return of Green and Thompson, it should be interesting to see what kind of reaction the Chase Center crowd will have for them tonight.