Has the ship sailed on Isaiah Thomas having surgery on his hip?
Thomas didn’t want to, understandable considering he was heading into a contract year, and Boston doctors agreed. However, when he was part of a trade Cleveland’s doctors were more concerned and likely would have pushed for the surgery, because they see an impingement that makes re-injury more likely (the Cavaliers pushed for an additional draft pick to get the deal done). Thomas, for his part, says he is not damaged goods and will return to being his old self.
I’m not a doctor, nor will I play one on the web. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe isn’t one either, but he spoke to Orthopedic hip surgeon Derek Ochiai for an article.
“When you have a labral tear from impingement, that means that the way that Isaiah Thomas’s hip is shaped, it’s shaped in a way that’s not round,” Ochiai said. “In certain positions, his hip is not round on round. That’s why it’s called impingement, the bone will impinge because it’s not a round-on-round joint. Once you tear your labrum from that, that’s the most common cause of labral tears in any athlete, that tear is not going to heal. It’s always going to be torn, the question is how do you treat that?
“And there are some high-level athletes who are playing professional sports right now who have labral tears from impingement who are doing fine.”…
According to Ochiai, surgery would likely keep Thomas out three or four months.
As of right now, there is no target date for Thomas’ return, and rumors cover the gamut from early in the season to around the All-Star break.
At this point, it’s unlikely Thomas has surgery unless the injury just will not heal. If he had it right now, he would not be back on the court until maybe Christmas or later. This is why LeBron James reportedly cooled on the trade — it’s easy for us to say “Cleveland just needs Thomas right for the playoff run” but while he is out a lot more playmaking responsibility falls on LeBron (because the point guard is then Derrick Rose). LeBron can handle the responsibilities, but is this wearing him down a little early in the season? Irving, and Thomas when healthy, take a lot of load off LeBron most nights.
The notes on the surgery are interesting but likely moot. Thomas isn’t going to have surgery at this point, not after putting it off all summer before a contract year.