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The Golden State Warriors have assigned star guard Klay Thompson to the Santa Cruz Warriors, their G-League affiliate, for increased practice reps, the team announced. James Wiseman, who has not yet been cleared for five-on-five work, has also been assigned to Santa Cruz. This is an approach that the Warriors frequently take with injured players. Stephen Curry even famously practiced with the Santa Cruz team while recovering from the broken hand he suffered in 2019, though he did not play in any games for them. 

It is not clear whether or not Thompson will, but the five-time All-Star that hasn't played since the 2019 NBA Finals is getting closer and closer to returning. The initial timeline projected a return around Christmas, and he recently revealed how excited he is to rejoin the team. 

"It's the first time I played with them on Monday, and that was just a milestone to play with my teammates," Thompson said recently. "I don't fear getting hurt again, because the last two times I did get hurt were just a freak accident, you could say. I hate to use the phrase 'I can't wait' because I love to be present in my life, but I cannot wait to play in front of our fans again. I really, really enjoy being a Warrior."

Thompson is attempting a remarkable comeback from both a torn ACL and a torn Achilles. He missed the past two seasons in their entirety and has been forced to watch this season's Warriors roll to a dominant 17-2 start without him. His return should only make one of the NBA's best teams stronger. Assuming he reclaims his starting shooting guard role, standout third-year guard Jordan Poole should move to the bench and give them even more firepower from there. 

For now, Thompson will continue his rehab in the G-League alongside Wiseman and the rest of the Santa Cruz roster. It still isn't fully clear when Thompson will take the floor, but he appears closer than ever to returning to the Warriors.