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'I'm Back': Injured Warriors Star Klay Thompson Set to Return Sunday

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) -- Klay Thompson will make his long-awaited return Sunday against Cleveland as planned.

The Golden State star made it official with his own creative announcement on social media as he so loves to do.

Thompson has been cleared to play and will play in his first game in more than 2 1/2 years after being sidelined by two devastating injuries.

Coach Steve Kerr wouldn't confirm Thompson's status following practice Saturday, saying "it's not my announcement or decision to make." He also instructing the media to watch their phones with thanks for putting up with his "charade."

Klay Thompson
Warriors guard Klay Thompson warms up before an NBA game with the Miami Heat in San Francisco Jan. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Thompson will start but with fewer minutes for now.

The 31-year-old Thompson hasn't played since suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals as Toronto clinched the championship. While rehabbing from surgery for that injury, he tore his right Achilles tendon scrimmaging the day before training camp began.

"When he comes back, if it's tomorrow night, it will be one of the most emotional nights of my basketball life," Kerr said.

Thompson, now sporting an old-school headband he plans to stick with as his curly hair is longer, knows it will take time to build back up to his pre-injury minutes and performance on both ends of the floor.

Teammate Draymond Green has watched Thompson suffer through a range of emotions as he worked his way back.

"I know what he's gone through," he said. "I've seen it first hand. The good days, the bad days. Days where he comes in bouncing off the walls, talking to everybody non-stop, won't shut up, and days where he doesn't have a word to say to anyone. That's just that roller-coaster. I can only imagine what he's going through. I'm excited for him. He deserves it. That's a guy who has given all he's got to this game. He's gotten the opportunity to be healthy and come back and that's what we all hoped for."

As the minutes tick down to Thompson's anticipated return to the court after 2 1/2 years of an injury-forced absence, ticket prices have soared into the stratosphere with a pair of courtside seats being offered on a popular resale site for more than $70,000.

Reuniting with 'Splash Brother' Steph Curry on a team already sporting one of the NBA's best records has Warriors fans dreaming of another league title.

And his return may be coming when the team needs him the most. Curry is in the midst of his worst two-game shooting slump of his career and the Warriors are coming off back-to-back losses.

"The way they are playing Steph, the way everybody is playing Steph, they are really putting their best defender on him, they are attacking him with double teams," Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said. "It will be nice to have Klay on the floor on the weak side. He'll probably see a lot of open shots the way teams are guarding Steph."

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