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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Klay Thompson reveals 1 big obstacle he is still facing after injuries

Klay Thompson with a headband

Jun 5, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) warms up before game two of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson managed to win another NBA title after returning from his injuries, but he is still not quite all the way back from them.

The Golden State Warriors star Thompson spoke with reporters this week and revealed one major obstacle that he is still facing — a mental block that kept him from playing pickup basketball all offseason.

“It was really hard for me to get out there,” said Thompson, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “Just mentally, it was hard. It’s hard to explain. It’s like a mental block in a way.

“I’m gonna face it one day, but this [past] season was just so taxing,” added Thompson. “Just coming back, it was hard to win a championship, then a month later, [look to] play. It was a lot. But I’ll be [back]. I look forward to playing summer basketball again [eventually].”

The context here matters. After he suffered a torn ACL during the 2019 NBA Finals against Toronto, Thompson looked poised to return for the 2020-21 campaign. However, he then tore his Achilles tendon while playing in a pickup game in Nov. 2020 and missed another whole season of action.

That rotten luck would be enough to make anybody hesitant to return to playing pickup, especially a top NBA star with tens (if not hundreds) of millions at stake. We already saw another notable player suffer a season-ending injury during a pickup game this summer. Meanwhile, Thompson, who is looking to play in his first full season since 2018-19, is still trying to overcome the mental hurdles from his own pickup mishap two years ago.

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