NBA: Celtics’ Thomas says hip surgery not top option

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WASHINGTON, United States – Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas said surgery is not currently the best option for his injured right hip although it could eventually prove necessary.

Thomas aggravated a right hip injury in the second game of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and missed the rest of the series.

The Cavs beat the Celtics 135-102 in game five on Thursday to book a third straight NBA Finals clash with the Golden State Warriors.

Thomas told reporters Friday that he won’t be able to determine a rehabilitation plan until the swelling subsides in his hip.

“(Surgery is) not the number one option right now, but it could be once the swelling goes down,” Thomas said.

“They want to let (the swelling) die down a little bit then take another MRI once everything is down and it’s back to normal. We’ll go from there. Hopefully I don’t have to have surgery, but I know that is an option.”

Thomas said there is not a timetable until more tests can be run, but he has full confidence knowing Celtics coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will keep in mind the best path to his long-term health.

“I’ve got to do what’s best for me in the long run, what’s best for my body,” Thomas said.

“As Brad continues to say each and every day, it’s how you’re healthiest for the long run. Even Danny and those guys say that, so that says a lot about who they are as people.”

Thomas initially injured his hip in the third quarter of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 15.

The 28-year-old Thomas aggravated the injury in game six of the Celtics’ second-round series against the Washington Wizards.

The injury means the ball joint in the hip socket is not moving freely.

Thomas, who averaged 28.9 points per game during the regular season and 23.3 during the postseason, scored 19 total points in the first two games against Cleveland. He played just 18 minutes in game two while playing through the lingering pain.

– Tough and determined –

LeBron James, who scored 35 points on Thursday night in Game 5 as the Cavaliers finished off the Celtics, expressed his admiration for Thomas after the two stars embraced on the court.

“Throughout the series, I didn’t get the opportunity to have that moment (with Thomas),” James said Thursday night.

James was impressed with Thomas’s performance in the playoffs, which began a day after his 22-year-old sister Chyna was killed in a car crash.

“I know I said a few things in the media about the situation he was going through, but I was happy to see him, give him a big hug from myself and my family.

“Just how tough and determined the guy is, to be able to go through the situation he was going through on a day-to-day basis, still being focused and maintaining his focus for the team, you know, family is everything. Basketball comes second after family. To see him perform the way he was performing in the playoffs under the circumstances, it was a treat to watch.”

© Agence France-Presse

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