Los Angeles, January 15: Klay Thompson is buoyed his progress down the long road to recovery from a torn ACL, but knows he must remain patient as he eyes a return to the court.
The Golden State Warriors star suffered the injury during Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June.
Thompson is far enough along in his rehabilitation that he has been able to shoot with his team-mates after practice sessions.
While the prospect of a return to competitive action remains a way off, Thompson – speaking during the Warriors' 124-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks – is keeping a clear head and a positive outlook.
"It's going great," the 29-year-old said in quotes reported by ESPN. "I mean, at least my suits are well tailored. And it's fun to watch these guys battle.
"Obviously, I wish I could be out there. It's been a long process. I haven't stopped working since the third day after Game 6 of the 2019 Finals.
"You might not see me a lot, but I'm working. I don't know what's going to come this season, I would love to get out there.
"It's very rare for me not to be grinding through it with them, but I'm trying to make sure this type of injury never happens to me again, so I'll be very patient because I want to play at a high level 'til my late 30s."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been heartened to see Thompson get involved in post-practice shooting sessions.
"More than anything it just feels good to see him out there," he said. "And for him to feel it, like he's actually closer. Even though he's still a way from being out on the floor, he's so far along now compared to when this first started.
"So he's pretty far down the path, so I think he's starting to feel that.
"The routine is changing now. He's on the court a lot more, and I'm asking him to be around our team a lot more. Both Steph [Curry] and Klay I've talked to about starting to be engaged and involved with the group. The new players need to get to know those guys and vice versa.
"And they give our young group some confidence just with their presence. So I think that's all part of the next step here for both Steph and Klay."