Two weeks after Isaiah Thomas announced he would avoid surgery and be ready for training camp, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens pumped the brakes on any guarantees. Appearing on the Vertical Podacst with Chris Mannix, Stevens said Thomas will have another medical visit in early September before being cleared for training camp.
“We still don’t know,” Stevens said. “He has another follow up and another scan in the early part of September when he arrives back here out east. From there we will know the exact timeline.”
This isn’t a reversal of the reported progress for Thomas that he and Danny Ainge have espoused during the offseason, but rather a more tepid advancement towards Thomas’ return by the most measured man in the room. Danny Ainge told CSNNE Monday that the further tests are to confirm that Thomas remains on track for his recovery, not a sign of any set back or concern.
“Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest and a lot of rehab,” Stevens said. “There’s been some good strides here in the last month and couple of weeks, but we’re not gonna know that until after that early September timeframe.”
Stevens and the organization have consistently preached patience with Thomas’ recovery, supporting the best approach to get him fully recovered and back on track for a long All-Star career.
“We want what’s best for Isaiah,” Stevens said. “We want to make sure when he is ready to roll -- which hopefully is sooner rather than later -- that he is ready to roll at his highest level and for the longest possible time obviously, right? That’s a lot more important to me than anything else.”
When asked if the long wait to determine if Thomas needed surgery was taxing on Stevens and the organization, he fell back to his reliable mantra of focusing on things under your control.
“I don’t know if it was unnerving, because you can only control hat you can control. But obviously, it’s a big deal to me because it’s a big deal to him. We all obviously want to go into every season 110% healthy and we’ll see where we stand on that with everybody. But more so, you want what’s best for him.”
With training camp a matter of weeks away, Thomas will hope for one last final thumbs up from the doctor sometime around Labor Day. The Celtics are already flying into camp with momentum toward a run to the NBA Finals. A clean bill of health for their centerpiece will finally calm the nerves of even the least stoic Celtics.