Raptors' Pascal Siakam nearing return: 'Maybe next week we will see him on the court'

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Pascal Siakam celebrates from the sidelines as he rehabs a shoulder procedure. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Pascal Siakam celebrates from the sidelines as he rehabs a shoulder procedure. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors are on fire right now, victors of their last five games and sitting among the best in the East with a 6-3 record. And it seems like they may be getting a big boost very soon.

Prior to Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, head coach Nick Nurse told reporters that star forward Pascal Siakam is close to a return from injury.

"Maybe next week we will see him on the court," Nurse said on Friday, adding that Siakam has hit all the checkmarks in his rehab, but will likely be on a minutes restriction once he does return.

The former Most Improved Player award winner has missed all of training camp and the regular season so far as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn labrum, suffered last May.

Siakam has been practicing for several weeks, including a conditioning stint with the Raptors 905, Toronto’s G League affiliate.

In Siakam’s absence, forwards OG Anunoby and rookie Scottie Barnes have dominated in the front-court and have led the Raptors in their hot start. Barnes tops all rookies in the NBA in scoring with 18.8 points per game, while Anunoby has embraced his role as a scorer, going off for a career-high 36 points against the New York Knicks on Monday.

In 56 games last season, the Cameroonian averaged 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from three.

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