Isaiah Thomas missed his second game with a groin injury Friday night in the Celtics' 101-94 loss to the Raptors. Before the game, coach Brad Stevens said Thomas could miss up to 10-14 days.

So that's bad, but the injury occurred back on Dec. 5, so he could be back as soon as Dec. 14. Thomas, for his part, thinks he'll be back this week.

Thomas is not with the team and won't travel to Oklahoma City for their game against the Thunder Sunday, but if he's back against the Spurs, that limits the damage. This is a brutal stretch for the Celtics, facing the Raptors, Thunder, Spurs and Hornets before an easier road trip against the Heat, Pacers and the banged-up Grizzlies. They have no cushion in the Eastern Conference right now, as they're tied with four other teams in the loss column at 10. But there's also not a team running away with it outside of the Cavaliers and Raptors, and of course, plenty of time for Boston to make up the difference.

The most likely scenario, given how painful and nagging groin injuries are, is that Thomas returns when the team gets back from its road trip, against the Hornets on Friday. The more interesting question is what happens then, as the team has actually been slightly better, by about 3.9 points in net points per 100 possessions, when Thomas is not on the court this season. Still, getting your All-Star back is never a bad thing, and he should be back by the end of the week.