Spring 2021 Magazine

Isaiah Thomas praises God after returning from injury to debut with Denver Nuggets

After just 28 games for two different teams last year, Isaiah Thomas made his debut for the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, his first NBA game action since March 22, 2018. He entered to a standing ovation from the Denver crowd late in the first quarter, and finished with eight points and two assists in 13 minutes as Denver held off Sacramento, 120-118.

The 30-year-old point guard had surgery in March for hip issues that began in 2017, his third year with Boston and his second All-Star season. He suffered a labral tear during the regular season and re-aggravated it during the playoffs. He chose not to have surgery that following offseason, but was traded to Cleveland over the summer. He didn’t play for the Cavs until Jan. 2, 2018, as he attempted to rehab the injury, and he was traded to the Lakers the next month.

After just 17 games in Los Angeles, he shut it down for the season. Thomas then signed a one-year, $2 million deal with Denver this past July, and finally made his debut 57 games into the 2019 season.

Afterward, Thomas was thankful to God for his return to action. “God is so good! Man that felt great tonight,” he wrote on Twitter. “I know that God got me so I practice patience,” he said on Instagram.

Thomas will remain on a minutes restriction until the Nuggets training staff clears him for more work. But at 39-18 going into the All-Star break — good for second place in the West — the Nuggets are content to ease him back into action.

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