Thomas wasn't scheduled to make the trip to Washington on Tuesday for the first of back-to-back games against the Capitals, but coach Claude Julien said he could see his first game action Wednesday night back at TD Garden before he and his teammates head to Northern Ireland after the game.
"There's a good possibility that we'll see him play tomorrow," Julien said of Thomas, who underwent offseason hip surgery. "Again, I say possibility because it depends how today goes and then if it goes well, we'll see him in the lineup tomorrow."
When asked if he would play Wednesday night, Thomas was non-committal as well, stressing that he still needed to get medical clearance.
"There hasn't been a final decision and we gotta be in constant communication with the doctor because they have to give the green light," Thomas said Tuesday. "That hasn't happened yet. It could happen today, it could happen tomorrow or maybe not. We'll see."
According to Thomas, there are no physical tests he must pass at this point. He just needs to tell doctors when his hip joint is ready.
"I have all the strength and flexibility I need but the problem is in the joint and there's no way to test that," Thomas said.
Thomas said he still feels discomfort in the hip when he is on the ice.
"You can feel it, it's a big surgery and even if it's game-ready and at a point where you're going to play close to your highest level, I think you're going to feel it for a while because that's just the nature of these types of injuries," Thomas said. "It's not like oh it's gone. It will be there and it just takes your joints used to doing the types of activities that you do when you're playing hockey."