Toronto Raptors Close To Getting Key Piece Back

After playing in only 12 games before suffering torn ankle ligaments back on November 9th, one of the Toronto Raptors' key rotation big men, Precious Achiuwa, may finally be on the verge of returning. 

The 6'8" center/power forward was able to fully practice today including taking contact, according to Raptors beat reporter Josh Lewenberg.

Although it doesn't appear like he'll return for Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, he's been listed as "doubtful" rather than "OUT" for the first time in over a month-and-a-half. Head coach Nick Nurse says he’s getting closer to a return, which could come as early as this week.

As a rim protector and a defensive communicator, the Raptors have really missed Achiuwa's contributions on the defensive side of the ball especially. He was averaging 8.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in about 20 minutes per game. 

Last season, he was also contributing some floor spacing by the second half of the season, hitting on 39% of his threes after the All-Star Break. He started out especially slowly on that front this season, and now it'll take some time for him to hopefully rediscover his stroke. But he will be a welcome addition to the lineup later this week. 

Photo: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports