Isaiah Thomas 5 months after hip procedure: ‘My story is far from over’

"I'm anxious to show people I can contribute to a team again."

Isaiah Thomas is hoping to make a comeback this season.
Isaiah Thomas is hoping to make a comeback this season. –Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Isaiah Thomas told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski he has “no more pain” after undergoing a hip resurfacing procedure five months ago and is hoping to contribute to an NBA roster this upcoming season.

Thomas pieced together one of the more memorable individual runs in Celtics history in 2016-17, averaging 28.9 points per game and willing the team deep into the playoffs. He pushed through a lingering injury as much as he could yet was ultimately ruled out for the final three games of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics then traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a deal for Kyrie Irving, and Thomas has never been the same since the setback he suffered in a March 2017 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since that season, he’s played a total of 84 games in four years with four teams.

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He believes he’s recharged and is poised for a bounce-back season, calling it “like night and day” since he had the procedure to fix a bone-on-bone issue that bothered him for three years.

“I’ve got my full range of motion,” Thomas told Wojnarowski. “For three years, I was trying to play the best players in the world on one leg. I needed help from my kids to put my socks on in the morning.”

Thomas said he’s now able to lift weights, squat low, work out twice a day, and cut, move, and stop in a way he couldn’t the past few years.

“I feel like I’m 31 years old again,” Thomas said.

His surgeon, Dr. Edwin Su, told Wojnarowski that it was clear Thomas was favoring his right side and was in obvious pain before the surgery. After the operation, Thomas has more symmetry on the right and left sides of his body, Su said, and he doesn’t have to avoid pushing off and landing on his dominant left side.

Su said Thomas is playing like he’s eight months out of surgery, crediting him for his work ethic and desire to be great once again.

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Thomas, the former last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft who is always one to try and prove people wrong, is eager to defy the odds one more time. On Instagram, he said he’s “feeling amazing and grinding everyday!” adding that his story is far from over while detailing his experience in a video.

“In some ways, the time off because of COVID was a blessing in disguise for my career,” Thomas told Wojnarowski. “It allowed me to take the time to get this procedure done, and get back physically to a level I need to be to compete in the league. I made the right decision to do this, and I’m anxious to show people I can contribute to a team again.”

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