Steve Kerr is preparing to spend a full season without Klay Thompson after saying it is "unlikely" the shooting guard will be fit enough to play any part.
The Golden State Warriors star tore his ACL during Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June, so it was expected that he would miss a significant amount of time.
Some reports had surfaced suggesting Thompson could be back after the All-Star Break in 2020, but Kerr is taking a more pragmatic approach to his recovery.
"It's unlikely that he's going to play this year, so we have to understand that," the Warriors coach said on NBC Sports Bay Area.
"You have to look at it realistically. 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 him 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."
It is rare that a player is able to return in nine months from a torn ACL. Derrick Rose, Jabari Parker and Zach LaVine all missed closer to a year with similar injuries.
Keeping Thompson out for the year likely will be better in the long run, since his possible return at the end of the season would likely see him weaker and rusty due to the recovery process.
The Warriors will open their season on Thursday at home against the Los Angeles Clippers.