Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors big man far from return

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 07: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors controls the ball (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 07: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors controls the ball (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the more impressive teams in the Eastern Conference when you factor in all of the games that their best players have missed due to injury. Losing an All-NBA player like Pascal Siakam and the Sixth Man in Precious Achiuwa is tough to shoulder.

Achiuwa tore up some ligaments in his ankle, putting the Nigerian big man on ice for the last few weeks. Considering all of the time and energy this organization has spent in developing Achiuwa and making sure he expands his offensive game, this is a huge roadblock.

The Raptors right get Gary Trent Jr. and Chris Boucher back ahead of a Wednesday showdown with the Brooklyn Nets, but Achiuwa’s ailment seems to be more of a long-term injury. The latest quotes from Nick Nurse make it seem like he won’t be active for a while.

According to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, Nurse said that Achiuwa is still “a ways away” from rejoining the team. Ankle injuries are always tough, and it looks like this one might knock Achiuwa out for most of the first half of the season.

Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors PF will be out for a while.

While Achiuwa has a very poor start offensively, he was able to show he can impact the game as a glass-cleaner and defender. He’s still as switchable as ever, and his 22-rebound domination of the Miami Heat shows that he is more comfortable operating as a traditional post big man.

The Raptors have managed to replace Achiuwa to a satisfactory degree in the last few weeks. Christian Koloko has played some of the finest basketball of his career in the Hawks win, and Thad Young has proven to be one of the most effective bench players on the team. In the short term, Toronto should be able to hold on.

Long-term, however, is a different story. Achiuwa remains an important piece of what Toronto wants to do, specifically because of his ability to defend multiple positions and attack the basket. If his shooting gets back to the levels we saw last year, this bench could get a major kick in the rear.

The Raptors are no stranger to playing with injuries, and names like Young and Juancho Hernangomez have put together some very impressive performances in the last few days while the roster nurses back to health. However, Achiuwa is a very unique arrow that Toronto won’t have in its quiver.

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