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Warriors' Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion, no timetable for return

Warriors' Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion, no timetable for return
Published On: Fri, May 29 | Published By: Ball Don't Lie
The Golden State Warriors announced Friday afternoon that All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson "has been diagnosed with a concussion," two days after taking a frightening knee to the side of the head during the Game 5 victory over the Houston Rockets that sent the Warriors to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] "Following extensive examinations over the last two days — including neurological tests earlier this morning — Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson has been diagnosed with a concussion," reads the team's announcement. "He will not return to the court until he is symptom-free and cleared under the NBA’s concussion protocol guidelines. He will be evaluated daily and there is no timetable for his return." With the Warriors holding an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter of Game 5, Thompson took a pass from Andre Iguodala on the left wing, squared up behind the 3-point arc, and pump-faked to try to catch Houston perimeter stopper Trevor Ariza off-guard. Ariza bit hard, leaping to contest the shot. Thompson leaned in, perhaps looking to draw contact from the off-balance defender; doing so brought the right side of his head directly into the line of flight of Ariza's rising right knee. Ariza drilled Thompson in the ear and along the jaw line, sending the All-Star shooting guard to the deck, holding his head in his hands. After taking a few moments to collect himself, Thompson got to his feet, exited the game and headed back to the Warriors locker room. He later returned to the bench, with ESPN's Doris Burke reporting that the Warriors said he'd sustained a right ear laceration, but that Thompson "did not even have to go through the concussion protocol" and would be available to return — a status update that seemed curious at the time, and has received even more scrutiny since the injury. Shortly thereafter, Thompson wound up having to go back to the locker room for more medical attention after the lacerated ear began bleeding while he was on the bench: He'd come back with the ear stitched up, but would not check back into the game, finishing with 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting (4-for-6 from 3-point range) to go with four assists, one rebound and one steal in 22 minutes of playing time in the win, which saw Golden State eliminate the Rockets and move on to an NBA Finals matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. As the Warriors celebrated winning the Western Conference before a raucous Oracle Arena crowd, Burke spoke with Thompson about the victory and his injury. He couldn't hear her at first, but then admitted to being "a little dizzy." While Burke reported that Thompson had not gone through the NBA's full concussion protocol after returning to the locker room, the Warriors said after the game that they'd performed "a concussion medical evaluation" after he'd suffered the injury, and that he'd shown no symptoms at that time. In the hours after Game 5, though, Thompson began to feel the effects, including dizziness and nausea. "He said he just needs a good night's sleep," Thompson's father, former NBA player Mychal Thompson, told Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Marc J. Spears. "[He] threw up and says he feels a lot better." Not well enough, however, to drive himself home: Klay Thompson's dad on @MikeAndMike: Klay couldn't drive home last night and threw up a couple times when he got home— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) May 28, 2015 Spears reported that Thompson would have to complete the league's concussion protocol — laid out here — before he could be allowed to resume practicing, let alone get cleared for game action in the NBA Finals, which will tip off at Oracle on June 4. Despite that determination, however, Curry's agent, Bill Duffy, told USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick on Thursday that "there were no issues" revealed in follow-up tests conducted on Thompson: "Asked if Thompson had a concussion, Duffy said, 'No.'" Subsequent neurological tests conducted on Friday, however, told a different tale. "A day later, Duffy — who had defended the Warriors' handling of the situation — wrote in a text message, '[I'm] glad we got the full battery of tests,'" Amick wrote Friday. In order to be judged ready to safely return to action, Thompson must complete a series of tests that involve "several steps of increasing exertion — from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills," according to the protocol. "With each step, a player must be symptom free to move to the next step. If a player is not symptom free after a step, he stops until he is symptom free and begins again at the previous step of the protocol." After he's completed those steps, the Warriors' team physicians must discuss the return-to-participation process and decision with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, director of the NBA's concussion program, before he can be finally cleared and allowed to return to practice. "I just do what the doctors say we should do," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after Friday's practice, according to Antonio Gonzalez of The Associated Press. "Obviously, we want to be as careful as possible and make sure our players are safe and sound and healthy. So we'll follow this protocol that the league provides and we'll have Klay out here when he's ready." - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

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