When the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics completed the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston and All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, Center Ante Zizic, Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick, and Boston’s 2020 second-round pick to Cleveland, the only question that remained was Thomas’ health. After suffering a torn labrum against the Cavs during the postseason last May, the point guard is still recovering from the injury. But just how long will it be until he is able to return to the court and start not only playing in games, but practicing with the team as well?
According to cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, Thomas will begin working out with the Cavs training staff on Tuesday.
Thomas’ work back to the court will be overseen by Dr. James Rosneck, a renowned hip specialist at the Cleveland Clinic who works with the Cavs. Dr. Richard Parker, the team’s lead doctor and an orthopedic surgeon at the Clinic, will of course also be involved.
The Cavs want to see how Thomas responds after a week, and then through the month of September leading into training camp before they determine a timetable. Thomas elected not to have surgery and told ESPN this week surgery was not the best course of action. All indications point to Thomas missing at least a portion of the season.
Although both the Cavs and Thomas want the star point guard back on the court sooner rather than later, the team “is not going to rush it” with the 28-year-old and are hoping that he will be back on the court sooner rather than later.
The former Celtics point guard arrived in Cleveland on Sunday, as his wife, Kayla showed in her Instagram story.
IT at his new Cavs locker and on the Cleveland practice courts (via his wife Kayla's IG story). pic.twitter.com/R02qilBNYV
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 4, 2017
Although he was quite disappointed and upset that he was traded by the Celtics, playing alongside LeBron James seems to be a nice transition and Thomas is “fully committed” to playing in Cleveland. The point guard let that be known in James’ latest Instagram post as well.
Entering the final year of his contract, Thomas knows that he must make a full recovery and prove that he is still fully capable of playing like he did prior to the hip injury in order to get the max deal that he is looking for. After averaging 28.9 points per game last season (third-best in NBA), he proved that he can score and be a playmaker even though he is only 5-foot-9, but will he be able to do that after his hip injury? That remains the biggest question.
If the Cavs want to take down the juggernaut team that is the Warriors, they will need a healthy (and 100 percent) Thomas. Although that will mean that he will have to be healthy by next April, it would be beneficial to the team if he is back by Christmas (or before) so that he and his new teammates can gain chemistry and play together.