ISAIAH Thomas insisted that his injured hip is not career-threatening and is in fact recovering well amid concerns on the severity of the injury, which has stalled the blockbuster trade that included him in a package offered by the Boston Celtics for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.
Thomas opened up for the first time since the Aug. 22 deal got delayed, speaking to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time), to insist he is not ‘damaged’ goods and that his injury suffered last March and aggravated in the playoffs will not prevent him from getting back in top form once he fully heals.
“I am not damaged. I'll be back, and I'll be the same player, " said Thomas, who hinted that he may miss the early parts of next season to completely recover but vowed he’ll be as explosive as ever in his return.
"There's never been an indication that I wouldn't be back, and there's never been an indication that this is something messing up my career. Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I'm going to be back, and I'm going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that,” he added.
The Celtics have agreed to send Thomas, along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets to the Cavs in exchange for Irving. But after a physical on Thomas last Friday, both sides have delayed in making the trade official, with Cleveland weighing its options on whether to void the deal or ask for more assets in return.
Sources within the NBA told Wojnarowski on Tuesday, however, that the Cavs and Celtics have resumed talks with Cleveland no longer interested in adding more players but just a first-round or second-round pick for compensation.
The deadline to pass the physical for the traded players is Thursday, according to NBA rules.
Thomas, though, has been in contact with Cleveland team officials since the physical, but admits their decision is not within his control. However, his diagnosis from New York hip specialist Dr. Bryan Kelly has made him confident he can bounce back even stronger after a breakout season.
“He told me, 'I have seen hips worse than yours with guys who played at a high level and had great careers.' At the moment, yes, I am injured, but I have made progress from May,” said Thomas.