Newly signed Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas had surgery Wednesday to repair a rupture of the radial collateral ligament of his left thumb, the team announced. He is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Thomas agreed to a deal with Washington early in free agency to help fill the hole at point guard caused by John Wall’s left Achilles tendon injury, which could sideline the five-time all-star for most or all of the upcoming season. A two-time all-star himself who finished fifth in MVP voting in 2016-17, Thomas has seen his career upended by injuries. He has logged just 44 games over the past two seasons, split among the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. Once a dynamic scorer who averaged 28.9 points per game just three seasons ago, Thomas tallied just 8.1 points per game in 12 games with Denver last year.
The injuries and an opportunity created by Wall’s absence drew Thomas to Washington this summer.
“The biggest thing for me in signing with a team this summer was all about getting a legit opportunity to show that I can still play and play at a high level,” Thomas told reporters in July. “And then – which is not great – with John [Wall] being out most of the year, it gives me an opportunity to come in and play right away. When I met with the Wizards [in July], it was like they really wanted me and it was like a genuine want.”
This latest injury occurred during routine workouts on Monday, according to the team.
“This was an unfortunate setback for Isaiah, but with his resolve and the top care he will receive from our medical team, we expect him to make a full recovery,” Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard said in a statement. “In the meantime, he will continue to mentor our young guards and have a positive impact on the team as we start training camp.”
The Wizards open the regular season on Oct. 23 against the Mavericks in Dallas. If Thomas misses six weeks, the short end of the timeline provided, that would have him returning a week into the season. Training camp opens Oct. 1, with Ish Smith as perhaps the Wizards’ most proven, healthy option at point guard.