Isaiah Thomas’s highly anticipated season debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers is imminent as he could finally take to the court this coming week.
Despite participating in full practice sessions with the team in recent days, the Cavs decided to hold him out of their west coast road trip when they took on the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Utah Jazz.
The point guard has finally recovered from a hip injury that has kept him out since May and there’s a real possibility that he’ll feature in their next outing at home to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
If he doesn’t make his bow in that game, he could make his first appearance against his former team, the Boston Celtics, the following night.
The clash at TD Garden will be an emotional night for Thomas regardless of whether he takes to the floor or not but if it was up to him, he would love nothing better than to suit up and take on his old team.
“I would like to play (against the Celtics), but I don’t know,” he told reporters on Friday. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to play, but I would love to play back in Boston. That would be a pretty fun game to play in, but I don’t know. We’re gonna see how today goes, see how I feel tomorrow.”
When he does eventually return, IT will be on a minutes restriction and head coach Tyronn Lue has already confirmed that he will not play in back-to-backs, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
If he’s cleared to play against Portland, that would automatically rule out a possible reunion with the Celtics.
The 28-year-old is feeling so good that he was reportedly pushing the Cavaliers to give him some minutes in their recent loss to the Kings but they didn’t grant him his wish.
After missing over seven months of action, it’ll be interesting to see if the Ohio-based franchise would be willing to risk him in an emotionally charged contest in Boston where they’ll also be coming up against their former star Kyrie Irving.
Isaiah knows what kind of occasion it’ll be but still wants to be out on the floor and is expecting to receive a good reception from the fans in Beantown after he gave them two-plus years of All-Star caliber performances.
“It better be good. It will be good,” he said. “If I’m able to play, it’s going to be a really special game for me. It’s gonna be emotional because I gave my heart to that city and they showed genuine love back, and that’s how we feel about each other. If I am able to play that game, it’ll be a good one.”