The Golden State Warriors are preparing to be without one of the Splash Brothers for the entirety of the 2019-2020 NBA season. Head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t expect Klay Thompson to return from his torn ACL as the team attempts to reach the NBA Finals for a sixth straight year.

“It's unlikely that he's going to play this year,” Steve Kerr recently told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Thompson suffered the injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on June 14. The shooting guard scored 30 points before hurting his knee and leaving the contest near the end of the third quarter. Toronto won 114-110 in the last game at Oracle Arena, clinching their first championship in franchise history.

Golden State signed Thompson to a five-year, $190 million contract a few weeks later, knowing he would still have to recover from an injury that usually keeps players off the court for close to a year. He underwent successful surgery on July 2.

“You have to look at it realistically,” Kerr said in an interview that will air at 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday on the MyTeams app. “I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it's a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.

“We've kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. ... April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.”

Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a call in the final seconds of a 109-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 17, 2018. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The five-time All-Star might not agree with Kerr’s assessment. In July, Greg Lawrence, Thompson’s agent, indicated to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that a recovery time of five to seven months was expected. A seven-month layoff would have the shooting guard back by the All-Star break in February.

The Warriors might decide to be extra cautious with Thompson, given the new contract he just signed as well as what happened with Kevin Durant in the playoffs. Golden State has received its share of criticism for allowing Durant to play in the NBA Finals a few weeks after he suffered a calf strain. Durant tore his Achilles and will likely miss the entire 2019-2020 season.

With Durant leaving Golden State for the Brooklyn Nets and Thompson recovering from a serious injury, the Warriors are unlikely to win the West for the first time since 2014.

Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell will make up Golden State’s starting backcourt this season.