Isaiah Thomas to Play vs. Wizards After Missing 2 Games with Knee Injury

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2017

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 05:  Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 5, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Celtics 109-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas will return to the starting lineup for Monday's game against the Washington Wizards after he missed two contests with a knee bruise, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.

The Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets and lost to the Philadelphia 76ers while Thomas was out.

Thomas' return is welcome news for Boston considering he's averaging a career-high 29.2 points per game this season behind 46.2 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from three-point range.

He is the team's go-to offensive playmaker because of his ability to score and get his teammates involved (6.0 assists per game).

It's not just his overall production, but also his timing that has been so important for the Celtics this season. According to NBA.com, Thomas is leading the league with 10.1 points per fourth quarter while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor, meaning the totals are not just the result of forced, low-percentage shots.

The Celtics get him back just in time for the final 12 contests leading into the playoffs. They are 2.5 games behind the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and 1.5 games ahead of the Wizards.

Wednesday's game against Washington and an April 5 tilt against Cleveland stand out, so Boston will need Thomas to be his usual self as it battles for critical postseason positioning.