Isaiah Thomas insists his hip injury is not a long-term concern after the blockbuster trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics stalled.
Thomas first injured his hip this past season when Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns fell on him during a game.
He then kept playing which exacerbated the injury, eventually causing him to miss the last three games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavaliers.
Thomas was then traded to Cleveland earlier this month along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick for Kyrie Irving.
The trade was put on hold when Cleveland apparently did not like what they saw in Thomas' physical, but the 2016-17 MVP candidate is adamant he will be ready to go next season and that his injury will not hamper his career moving forward.
"There's never been an indication that I wouldn't be back, and there's never been an indication that this is something messing up my career," Thomas told ESPN.
"Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I'm going to be back, and I'm going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that."
Thomas saw Dr. Bryan Kelly of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York to give him a diagnosis on the strength of his right hip moving forward.
"He told me, 'I have seen hips worse than yours with guys who played at a high level and had great careers,'" Thomas said. "At the moment, yes, I am injured, but I have made progress from May."
Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game this past season and was one of the favourites to win the MVP award as the Celtics finished the campaign with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
He said he expects to get back to that level soon.
"I am not damaged," he said. "I'll be back, and I'll be the same player."