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Report: Isaiah Thomas targeting first week of January for return

NBA Twitter and media reports

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas is targeting the first week of January to make his 2017-2018 season debut, Yahoo’s Shams Charania reported on Sunday.

The Cavaliers play three games in the first week of January, against Portland on Jan. 2; Boston on Jan. 3; and Orlando on Jan. 6.

Charania reports that Thomas could play now if necessary, but prefers not to take any chances after missing so much time.

On Monday, Thomas appeared to refute this report through his own “sources”, tweeting, “Cavs Guard Isaiah Thomas is targeting the first week of April to make his debut, league sources tell IT!”

This timeline for the first week of April is what many expected before Charania’s report.

Sidelined by a hip injury suffered in last season’s playoffs, Thomas has missed all 31 games since joining the Cavaliers during the offseason as part of the blockbuster trade that sent All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Celtics.

Despite his absence, the Cavaliers are 23-8 with 18 victories in their past 19 outings following Sunday’s 106-99 triumph over the Wizards.

Thomas, 28, is coming off a career season in which he averaged 28.9 points for the Celtics before his injured hip forced him to miss the final three games of their loss to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals.