OAKLAND — Warriors guard Klay Thompson is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a concussion suffered in Game 5 against the Rockets on Wednesday. The surprising update raises the possibility of Thompson at least missing several days of practice before The Finals against the Cavaliers open Thursday at Oracle Arena.
There is no timetable for his return. While the injury generally does not linger as long as a week, each case is different and Thompson will go several days at the minimum without practicing with the Warriors, a potential problem for his conditioning and rhythm.
But, coach Steve Kerr said, “I think with Klay, probably not as much with some guys, Klay picks up his rhythm very quickly. We’re going to practice tomorrow, we’ll have Sunday off and so he’ll have the next couple of days and we’ll re-evaluate. This break has turned out to be good for us, obviously, and maybe good for Cleveland too because they’ve got some injuries. It’s just something we’ve got to work through and we’ll see how it goes.”
Thompson attended practice Friday but was not available for comment.
He was injured after taking a knee to the head from Houston’s Trevor Ariza when Ariza jumped to make a play on defense. Thompson went to the locker room, was examined by doctors and then cleared to return, only to have the Warriors later release a statement saying, “After the game he began to not feel well and developed concussion-like symptoms.”
The Warriors were off the next day, Thursday. On Friday, Thompson has been sidelined.
“Following extensive examinations over the last two days — including neurological tests earlier this morning — Warriors guard Klay Thompson had been diagnosed with a concussion,” the Friday statement said. “He will not return to the court until he is symptom-free and cleared under the NBA’s concussion protocol guidelines. He will be evaluated daily and there is not timetable for his return.”
To be cleared to return, Thompson must go through several steps of increasing exertion — from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills — without any setbacks. When Thompson completes those steps, a Warriors doctor will talk with the head of the league’s concussion program, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, for final approval for Thompson to rejoin the team.