Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson has suffered a torn right Achilles tendon and is expected to miss the upcoming season, the team said Thursday.
The team said in a tweet that an MRI performed in Los Angeles had confirmed the injury.
Thompson was injured during a pickup game in Southern California on Wednesday. General manager Bob Myers had said athletic trainers would head to Southern California to accompany Thompson as he got his test.
The injury could be a severe blow for the Warriors, who finished worst in the NBA last season as they struggled without Thompson and at times without Stephen Curry, who was nursing a broken left hand that sidelined him for more than four months.
Thompson didn’t play at all during the coronavirus-shortened season as he worked back from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. He suffered that injury in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Myers said Thompson’s injury had Golden State considering altering its draft decisions Wednesday night but the Warriors stuck with their plan to select Memphis center James Wiseman with the No. 2 overall selection.
Thompson is one of the best shooters the game has ever seen and formed one of the greatest back-courts of all time with Stephen Curry, and he’s the Warriors’ strongest defender on the perimeter.
His absence will spell trouble for Curry with teams more than likely to double-team the unanimous MVP and strangle the Golden State offence.
The news was met with somber reaction from fans and NBA pundits with most running a line through the Warriors’ title hopes.
“This is nightmarish. This is nightmarish. All championship hopes are out the window,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said.
“You need both. You can’t have Klay without Steph. You can’t have Steph without Klay and talk championship.
“You can talk playoffs. You can talk excitement. You can talk box-office appeal, but you can’t talk championship having one without the other.
“You need both of them. This is the greatest shooting backcourt we have ever seen.”
The injury to Thompson means Bob Myers and co. could try and find a replacement in the short-term.
The Warriors have $17 million available with the Andre Iguodala trade exception, and could also trade for the likes of JJ Reddick, Eric Gordon or Avery Bradley.