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Isaiah Thomas after hip surgery: ‘I was trying to play the best players in the world on one leg’

Former Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Washington Wizards looks on against the Golden State Warriors in the first half at Capital One Arena on February 03, 2020 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury loomed over the entire NBA in 2017, when his health threatened to undermine the Cavaliers-Celtics Kyrie Irving trade. Unfortunately for both Thomas and Cleveland, he never regained his form.

Thomas has faded from the spotlight through brief stops with the Lakers, Nuggets and Wizards.

Has he found a solution to his woes?

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Thomas, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

“It’s like night and day for me,” Thomas, 31, 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.”

Remember, Thomas is trying to get a job – not necessarily accurately conveying his status.

Thomas also had surgery in 2018 and declared, “The problem is fixed.” Fool me once…

It’s easy to root for Thomas, a 5-foot-9 guard who was the last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He plays with so much heart. It’s a shame he never got his earned big payday.

But even if he feels his age again, he’s still a 31-year-old small guard. Few players like that contribute in the NBA. And that’s before getting to Thomas’ hip issues, which just can’t definitively be put behind him.