Toronto Raptors face exciting December with a Christmas game and Kawhi Leonard’s return

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Injury updates

Coming into December, the Raptors are keeping their eyes set on two injured players above everybody else. Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka are rehabbing from injuries that have kept them out of action since early November. Even though the team is still playing well without them, many are still wondering when Lowry and Ibaka will return to the court.

Kyle Lowry fractured his left thumb in their game against the New Orleans Pelicans on November 8th.  He has been going through rehab, and there is still no timetable for his return. Lowry was great to start the season and when he returns he can be gradually brought back in. There was an early report saying Nurse estimated a Dec first return for Lowry, so his return might be sooner than later.

Lowry coming back in December will be great for the team. He and VanVleet have played well when they were sharing the backcourt. Lowry was posting a career-high in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage early in the season. He was scoring the highest points per game since 2016 at 21.8 points per game. Having Lowry back at some point that month will put the Raptors in a great situation going into the new calendar year.

Serge Ibaka suffered an ankle sprain in the same game as Lowry and has labeled as out indefinitely. He’s been active for a few contests already, and his return should come in the next week.

Ibaka will be a help the bigs down low, even though Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Chris Boucher have held their own during his absence. Boucher has benefited the most from Ibaka’s injury as he has adjusted to the NBA well this season.

Some other injury news to keep a note of through the month of December

  • Matt Thomas will miss around four weeks after breaking his left ring finger. He is a good long-range threat, with a 53 percent 3-point percentage on the season.
  • Stanley Johnson is dealing with a groin injury and will miss at least two weeks. Johnson has had a rough start to the season, although a lingering injury might have had some impact. Hopefully, he can get back for the Christmas Day game.
  • Patrick McCaw hasn’t had an announced setback since his knee surgery in November. He’s only played in two games and averages four points. There is still no timetable on his return but hopefully, he’ll come back and play a larger role in the team.

The Toronto Raptors have played well despite injuries to key players and they will need that to continue until the reinforcements are ready to return to action.

Next. Fred VanVleet is the Raptors point guard of the future. dark

December is going to be an eventful month for the Toronto Raptors. With a Christmas game and Kawhi’s return coming, those are going to be two big events in terms of media coverage and matchups on the court. They have the benefit of having multiple homestands and 11 games total in Toronto. If they can take care of business, they should leave December in a better position than where they started it.