Celtics glad to see a healthy Isaiah Thomas back on the court

A. Sherrod Blakely
NBC Sports Boston

Isaiah Thomas made his long-awaited return to the floor on Tuesday, and was successful on both an individual and team level.

The former Celtic gave the Cleveland Cavaliers a much-needed spark off the bench, finishing with 17 points in just 19 minutes of action as the Cavs pulled away for a 127-110 win over Portland.

Thomas, who has been on the mend from a hip injury suffered when he played for Boston, will not play when the Cavs take on the Celtics Wednesday night in Boston due to not playing in back-to-back games just yet.

Boston was planning to do a video tribute for Thomas, but the two-time all-star informed the team that he would prefer they not do one for him.

Thomas did not initially indicate why he didn't want the video tribute, but later added that it was because he wanted it to be in a game that he was able to play in, and added that he wanted his family to be there as well.

The Cavs said earlier that Thomas would not play in back-to-back games right now, in addition to having his minutes limited. 

However, things will get a bit complicated now as far as the video tribute is concerned being solely about Thomas.

Cleveland returns to Boston on Feb. 11 for what will be the jersey retirement of Paul Pierce.

Regardless of when Thomas returns to the floor, the Celtics coaches and players are happy that he's healthy enough to get back on the floor now.

"I just want him healthy," said Boston's Jaylen Brown. "I talk to Isaiah all the time. Isaiah is like family to me. He was one of the people that talked to me when my friend passed. He's gonna be fine. When he gets healthy, I'm sure he's going to do everything he does."

Coach Brad Stevens echoed similar sentiments about the two-time All-Star.

"All of us that spent every day with him, I can't say enough glowing, positive things about Isaiah," Stevens said. "He's a special guy. It's great to see him back on the court. And certainly, he's as tough as they come."

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