It has becoming increasing obvious for some time now as DeMar DeRozan has been running unimpeded around the Air Canada Centre, taking part in pregame shooting and exercises, and recently took part in a regular practice session with his teammates. DeRozan will be back in action with the Toronto Raptors in their first game back from this Western Conference road trip against the Charlotte Hornets barring an unexpected setback.
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan slated to return next Thursday vs Hornets after missing last 17 games with a left thigh injury,source told Yahoo
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 3, 2015
Paul Jones posted this video of DeRozan working out a week ago during the road trip and DeRozan was seen doing similar things prior to this in Toronto.
— Paul Jones (@Paul__Jones) December 27, 2014
The timing for DeRozan’s return to the court couldn’t be better as the Raptors will face four of the Eastern Conference’s weakest sisters next. Toronto plays Charlotte (10-24), Boston (11-19), Detroit (9-23) and Philadelphia (4-27) before facing Atlanta (24-8) and New Orleans (17-16) as part of a six game homestand. The Raptors All-Star should have shaken off any accumulated rust in his game before their key match against the Hawks on January 16th.
Toronto closed ranks and performed well in DeRozan’s absense, but his presence on the court was sorely missed when the Raptors faced off against the NBA’s elite teams.
It is easy to imagine at least a two or three more victories for Toronto over the past month if DeRozan had of been available and with games against Atlanta, Memphis and Washington remaining in January, the Raptors will get their chance to prove it.