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Isaiah Thomas remans optimistic about his future, roughly a week after having arthroscopic hip surgery.
The Los Angeles Lakers guard, traded to LA by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 8, believes the procedure puts him back on track.
“They scoped my hip and fixed my labrum,” he said as his moved around Staples Center with the assistance of a crutch.
With an official recovery timetable being announced as fourth months, it would result in the unrestricted-free-agent-to-be still being in the rehabilitation process when the market opens in July.
However, the 29-year-old Thomas vows to be fully recovered by that point.
“I’ll be healthy by then,” Thomas said. “I should be fully recovered between three to four months.”
The difference in verbiage may not seem important on the surface. However, the one-month variance is key.
Three months would mean Thomas would be healthy for the beginning of free agency.
Four months, however, would result in the Seattle native hoping to find a new home after teams have most likely spent the majority of their available cap space.
Thomas believes having the surgery, which came more than a year after he originally injured the hip last season while playing for Boston, was the course to take.
“The decision I made just felt like it was the best decision for me personally, individually as a basketball player,” Thomas said.
He believes the time spent with the young Lakers, for whom he played 17 games this season, was a positive experience.
“I think it was a success,” Thomas said. “I came in here. I had nothing in my agenda, nothing in my plans. I just wanted to play basketball and get my joy back, and being the Lakers brought that joy back from having a tough couple months to coming here and having fun and (Lakers coach) Luke [Walton] saying ‘We want you to be who you are,’ to be around a good group of guys was also pretty good to end the season.
“These guys are special. They’re a special group of young group of talented guys. Coaching staff is special, too. I thanked them for the opportunity. You never know what can happen.”
In regards to playing through the torn labrum in the playoffs last season, Thomas said he has no regrets.
He lost his sister, Chyna, in a car accident only days before the playoffs began.
“I don’t regret it. At that time, I was going through something way bigger than basketball, so basketball was the only thing that could really numb in that point in time,” he said. “I don’t regret it. It is what it is and I can’t control that. I mean, you can say ‘Yes, I wish there was a better decision made on both sides,’ but at the same time it is what it is.
“I can only control so much, but now that I’ve fixed the main problem the focus is to get back to 100 percent.”
The leading scorer in the Eastern Conference (28.3) while playing for Boston last season, the two-time All-Star was traded twice since then and averaging 15.2 points on a career-low 37.3 shooting percent from the field with the Cavaliers and the Lakers this season.