BOSTON (CBS) — Isaiah Thomas expects to be at full strength when Celtics training camp rolls around next month.
The offseason has been dominated by talk of Thomas’ bad hip, which cost him the last two-and-a-half games of Boston’s Eastern Conference final loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. There was some fear that he would have to undergo surgery for the lingering issue, which he initially injured during the regular season, but those fears were put to rest a few weeks ago by C’s president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge.
Still, there was concern that the injury could cost Thomas some time to start the 2017-18 season, but that also doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. The point guard told The Boston Herald over the weekend that his recovery is going well, and he expects to be ready to go when the new season arrives.
“The hip is great,” Thomas said at his basketball camp at Boston University over the weekend. “It’s a real slow rehab process, but it’s getting better and that’s what it’s all about.”
Thomas opted to rest the hip this offseason rather than go under the knife, and spent the last three months off of the court. He recently resumed some light basketball activities, and is working hard to “get to 100% as quick as possible.”
“I’ve been resting,” Thomas said. “That was the gameplan when my season was over. To rest and stay off it as much as possible to see how it reacts. (The hip) has reacted well, it’s just going to take some time.”
Thomas had an incredible season for Boston, averaging a career-high 28.9 points on 46 percent shooting during the regular season to earn his second career All-Star nod. He averaged 23.3 points per game in the playoffs before being sidelined with the hip injury.
With Thomas set to return and the addition of free agent All Star Gordon Hayward, Thomas knows expectations will be high for Boston next season. Now the focus is living up to those expectations by hanging a new banner at TD Garden.
“The ultimate goal is to win a championship, and that’s the only goal. So, whatever we have to do to try to get to the Finals, and try to get a championship, is what we’re going to do,” said Thomas. “We definitely have a really good team. We know that, the world knows that, and we just have to back it up.”