Free agent Isaiah Thomas underwent resurfacing surgery on his right hip in May and will be ready for the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Thomas has dealt with the hip issue for the past three years and underwent the procedure to fully resolve it, according to Shams Charania.
“It’s like night and day for me,” Thomas told ESPN. “There’s no more pain. I’ve got my full range of motion. 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. Now, I can lift weights. I can squat low. I can work out twice a day. I’m able to cut and move and stop, able to cut and go. I feel like I’m 31 years old again. And now, I have scientific evidence to show that.”
The 31-year-old last played for the Washington Wizards earlier this season before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline and ultimately waived.
After two breakout All-Star seasons with the Boston Celtics in 2015-2016 (22.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists per game) and 2016-2017 (28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists per game), Thomas’ hip issues started in the 2016-2017 playoffs.
He hasn’t been right since, only playing a total of 84 games in the last three seasons for the Wizards, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thomas decided that a procedure by Dr. Edwin Su, a renowned orthopedist in New York, was the best chance for him to try to resurrect his career.
His injury was bone-on-bone, the pain was relentless and the constant favoring of his right side had his balance constantly compromised, Adrian Wojnarowski notes.
“Before the surgery, you could see he was clearly favoring his right side; and that it was painful,” Dr. Su told ESPN. “It was natural to avoid pushing off and landing off [the left]. Four months post-op, we are seeing higher loads and seeing symmetry between the right and left. Now, he’s playing like he’s eight months out from surgery, not just four. He’s such a hard worker. He’s moving quickly, and able to jump and pivot.”
Thomas is anxious to get the opportunity to show teams what he can do at full strength again.
“In some ways, the time off because of COVID was a blessing in disguise for my career,” Thomas said. “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.”