The New Orleans Saints plan to place Michael Thomas on the physically unable to perform list and the star receiver is expected to miss the team's first five games of the season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Players added to the PUP list are required to sit out the first six weeks of the regular season, however, Thomas will only be forced to miss five games as the Saints have a bye in Week 6.
The three-time Pro Bowler could return to the field for New Orleans' Monday Night Football matchup vs. the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7.
The 28-year-old receiver has been out since undergoing ankle surgery in June, but Saints coach Sean Payton said on Aug. 14 that Thomas is "ahead of schedule" in his recovery.
Thomas was sidelined for nine games last year after he suffered the injury in Week 1 of the 2020 season. The six-foot-three, 212-pound received finished the campaign with 40 catches for 438 yards after suiting up for a total of seven games.
In 2019, Thomas led the NFL with 1,725 receiving yards on 149 receptions, and caught nine touchdowns.
Over the course of his five-year career, the Ohio State product has tallied 5,950 yards and 32 TDs on 510 catches.