There’s no doubt that Isaiah Thomas would like to suit up for the Cleveland Cavaliers when they visit the Boston Celtics on Jan. 3, but it’s beginning to look more and more likely that Thomas will have to wait to face his old team.

The star point guard hasn’t played yet this season while he recovers from a right hip injury. And while many figured his early January target meant he would play against the Celtics,’s Joe Vardon reported Wednesday that Thomas’ chances of playing against Boston next Wednesday seems unlikely after the point guard missed Wednesday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings, and is unlikely to play Saturday against the Utah Jazz.

“Assuming Thomas is indeed held out against the Jazz on Saturday (Lue said he wanted to see how Thomas came through the scrimmage), the Cavs’ next game is Jan. 2 at home against Portland,” Vardon writes. “It’s virtually out of the question for a player to play in back-to-back games after being out since May with hip injuries. So, if Thomas were to play against the Blazers, it would be hard to believe he’d also play against the Celtics the next night, even though that’s the team which traded him to Cleveland in the offseason.”

Vardon also reported that there is a “reluctance” from both the team and Thomas to have his debut come against a “marquee” opponent which is one of the reasons he didn’t suit up on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors.

If Thomas doesn’t play on Jan. 3 then his first crack at the Celtics would be Feb. 11 should he remain healthy.

Thumbnail photo via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images