Raptors’ Siakam could play next week

TORONTO – Pascal Siakam could finally make his season debut next week.

The Toronto Raptors’ all-star forward has been recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, but coach Nick Nurse said Siakam’s return is imminent.

“He’s getting closer everyday,” Nurse said Friday before the Raptors’ game against visiting Cleveland. “Everything has checked out pretty good. He’s hit all the checkmarks and everything of where he’s supposed to be, or maybe even a little ahead.

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“I would imagine maybe next week we’ll see him on the court. . . He’s been practising with contact for over a week now. All of that has been pretty short. Practices aren’t long. He has had a couple runs with the 905 (Toronto’s G League affiliate) as well.”

The Raptors have no games Monday and Tuesday and so Nurse said he’ll likely get a “lengthy practice in” then, to gauge Siakam’s readiness.

The Raptors are in Boston on Wednesday and Philadelphia on Thursday before hosting Detroit on Nov. 13.

Siakam averaged 21.4 points and 7.2 rebounds a game last season for Toronto.

The six-foot-eight forward participated in shooting drills during warm-up for Friday’s game.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2021.

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