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Isaiah Thomas Reflects on Last Season: ‘I Should Have Sat Out the Playoffs’

Isaiah Thomas looks back on his hip injury and the playoff run that made it worse.

Isaiah Thomas has been one of the NBA’s most talked-about players this year, from his riveting playoff run in Boston to his summer trade to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving.

In a new feature with SI‘s Lee Jenkins, Thomas opened up about the state of the hip injury that has defined his story since those playoffs, and admitted that he probably shouldn’t have even been on the court after a Game 6 injury.

From Sports Illustrated:

It lasted 10 days. In Game 6, the Wizards leveled him with a sledgehammer screen and his right leg throbbed. Effects of the preplayoff cortisone shot had waned. “I never felt pain like that,” Thomas winces. After an agonizing flight home to Boston, he put up 29 and 12 in a Game 7 triumph to the amazement of Celtics doctors. “I don’t know how you’re doing this,” one marveled. The stakes were too high to sit. Perhaps they were also too high to play.

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Five months have passed and Thomas rises from his kitchen table to stretch his right hip. “No doubt about it, I should have sat out the playoffs,” he says. “No way around it, I made it worse.” After Game 2 of the East finals, the Celtics shut down Thomas, and he braced for surgery. “I thought I’d get it done in a couple days and start rehab,” he recounts. Thomas went to New York City for an appointment with Bryan Kelly, a leading orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery and an expert in hip preservation. According to Thomas, Kelly prescribed rest rather than surgery and asked him to return for another MRI in six weeks, when inflammation diminished. Thomas, a regular at Seattle’s renowned pick-up runs, wasn’t even allowed to shoot with Jamal Crawford.

Read the full story here, or in SI’s 2017 NBA Preview Issue.