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Return date finally announced for Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Isaiah Thomas Jason Miller/Getty Images
INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Isaiah Thomas is introduced as a Cleveland Cavalier at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 7, 2017 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Isaiah Thomas has not yet taken the floor as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the All-Star point guard continues to recover from a well documented hip injury. However, Thomas is nearing a return to the court to the point where there is now an official projection of when he will suit up for the first time.

On New Year’s Day, it was announced that Thomas will be available when the Cavs face the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

It was quickly noted, though, that Thomas will not be able to play in a much anticipated match-up against his former team in the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

It makes sense on a number of levels that the Cavs would not want to expose Thomas to a heightened atmosphere against Boston, as Kyrie Irving will also face his former team and Thomas could be almost overly motivated on the heels of the trade. Still, the stated reason is that Thomas will avoid back-to-backs and, for good measure, he will be on a minutes restriction.

It remains to be seen as to how Thomas will look but, just one season ago, he averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game as the leader for the Celtics. With the point guard available, Cleveland’s team ceiling lifts considerably and, if nothing else, his return is an impressive accomplishment considering the severity of the injury.

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Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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