Isaiah Thomas is nearing his return from a lingering hip injury, and he's reportedly on track to play in his first game of the season later this month. The next step in making his Denver Nuggets debut includes a rehab assignment in the G League.

The Athletic's Nick Kosmider reports that Thomas won’t actually play in any G League games, but it will allow him some practice time with a G League team.

Last month ESPN reported that the Nuggets were hopeful Thomas would be able to suit up in mid-February, prior to the All Star break. If all goes well during his G League assignment, there's strong belief Thomas will return no later than the first game after the All Star break on February 22 in Dallas.

The Nuggets are currently sitting in second place in the Western Conference with a record of 37-17, just 1.5 games back of the surging Golden State Warriors. 

(Thomas, Torrey Craig, Jamal Murray: Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Thomas, who turned 30 on February 8, averaged 28.9 points per game for the Boston Celtics in 2016-17, an earned second-team All-NBA honors. He sustained a hip injury that forced him out of the Celtics' 2017 playoff run, and was later traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade.

At last year's trade deadline, Thomas was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he appeared in just 15 games before ultimately signing a one-year deal with Denver in July.