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Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas is set to make his 2017-18 debut in the first week of January, per the Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Original reports suggested he may be ready by mid-December, but according to Charania, the date was pushed back to ensure he’s ready for a long run when he returns. Though Thomas thinks he could play right now.

After a slow start, Cleveland has come roaring back through the end of November into December. The Cavs are 22-8, second-best in the Eastern Conference, behind Thomas’ former Boston Celtics. They’ve won 18 of their last 19 games, and LeBron James is debatably having the best season of his entire historic career.

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Incorporating Thomas into the fold as early as possible is key, and a January return date would give the Cavs nearly four months to figure things out before the playoffs. That’s as good as they could have hoped.

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.

Thomas shouldn’t rush to join his new team. The Cavs need him for April and the playoff run.