BOSTON – Isaiah Thomas, out for the second straight game with a right groin injury, is hoping to be back in the lineup by Wednesday’s game at San Antonio.
But the Celtics may find themselves having to save the 5-foot-9 from himself on this one.
“When I talked to Ed (Lacerte, the team’s head trainer) over the last 24-48 hours they said it’s usually 10 days to two weeks for an injury like this,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters.
“But again we're talking about Isaiah being pretty ambitious in his return,” Stevens said. “He's been getting treatment around the clock so we'll see. He'll be officially listed as day-to-day.”
When asked about how he was feeling prior to the game, Thomas said, “I’m not that good because I can’t play (tonight). It’s getting better. It hasn’t gotten worse and I’m just working as hard as I can to get back on the court.”
At a Christmas event earlier this week, Thomas said he was planning to travel with the Celtics when they play at Oklahoma City on Sunday and at San Antonio on Wednesday.
But he didn’t sound as optimistic when asked about it on Friday.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll probably know tonight.”
If the Celtics have ruled him out for Sunday’s game against the Thunder, it would make more sense for him to stay in Boston and continue to rehab his groin. And if he’s feeling better to the point where he becomes a game-time decision, he could meet the team in San Antonio.
“I’m going to take it day-by-day,” Thomas said. “Hopefully, I can play in the next few games and we'll see what happens. Today I feel a lot better than I have since I (suffered) the injury so we'll see maybe in next couple of days. I'm shooting for Wednesday."
As much as Thomas wants to be back on the floor quickly, he understands that he must listen to his body as well as the Celtics’ medical folks who have consistently brought back players only after they pass a series of rigorous physical tests that leave little doubt about a player’s readiness to return to action.
“Our medical staff is great and he trusts them,” Stevens said. “But also, nobody knows his body better than him. They feel like he's not looking (to be sidelined) long-term. It's not going to be a long-term thing for sure. We got to make sure not to bring him back tonight or too soon.”
Thomas is averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game in addition to being Boston’s leaders in assists with 6.2 per game.