The silence surrounding Isaiah Thomas has finally lifted, as we have a tentative time for his return for the first time since the Cleveland Cavaliers initial timeline set before the season.
Thanks to Shams Charania of The Vertical, we now know that Thomas is targeting the first week of January for his return:
Cavaliers All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas is targeting the first week of January for his season debut with Cleveland, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 18, 2017
Thomas has made significant progress from his hip injury, has confidence he could play now, but plan has been set to ensure he returns for long run this season. Cavaliers face Portland, Boston and Orlando in first week of January. https://t.co/Nea7J7GJzl— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 18, 2017
First of all, it’s positive that there have been no setbacks and that Thomas feels confident he could play now. By going with a safe approach, it’ll give him more time to practice with the team and get comfortable before he plays.
It also helps him make a smoother transition to playing, as his performance will likely have a significant impact on his value in free agency. Thomas is going for the first major contract of his career, so it makes sense that he would make sure he doesn’t start playing until he knows he can play like he did last season.
The one sad part about this is that Thomas will not be available for the Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors. While it would be nice to have him available for that game, it’s also wouldn’t be fair to throw him into the fire of that match-up with little-to-no games under his belt. Plus the Warriors will likely be without Stephen Curry, so that’s pretty much a fair trade.