The Cavaliers expect guard Isaiah Thomas to be able to play in games by January 1, as the former All-Star with the Boston Celtics continues to improve from his right hip impingement.

The team will release an update on Thomas Monday afternoon as they hold media day at Cleveland Clinic Courts.

The Cavs open the season on Oct. 17 against the Celtics. The Cavs knew when they traded for Thomas and a package of players and draft picks on Aug. 22 that he would not be ready to return by then after the hip injury forced him to miss the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals.

It is not out of the question that Thomas could be ready when the Cavs meet the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day in Oakland.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Derrick Rose will be the starting point guard until Thomas returns from injury.

Thomas has shown significant progress in the past three weeks. He has been working on hip mobilization exercises and in the weight room, along with hydrotherapy and limited on-court drills. Thomas has also been building strength through nutritional means.

When they held an introductory press conference for Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic earlier this month, the Cavs were still in the evaluation process for the proper course of treatment. A noted hip surgeon in New York was also consulted, but surgery was not required for what reportedly is a torn labrum in Thomas' hip.

With one year remaining on his contract, Thomas turns 29 on Feb. 7 and will be seeking a max deal in free agency.

Thomas, 5-foot-9, is a two-time All-Star and was second-team All-NBA in 2017. He captured the hearts of fans worldwide when he played in the Celtics’ postseason opener a day after the death of his 22-year-old sister Chyna in an automobile accident.

The Celtics traded Thomas, small forward Crowder, center Zizic, Brooklyn’s first-round pick in 2018 and a second-round pick from the Miami Heat in 2020 for four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving.

Thomas, 28, was hurt in March, then re-aggravated the injury when facing the Cavs in May.

NOTE: The Cavs' training camp roster includes ex-Cavs center Kendrick Perkins, who participated in LeBron James' team workouts at UC-Santa Barbara last week. Also participating is guard John Holland, a 6-foot-5 second-year player from Boston University.