Raptors reward sports science guru with VP role, extension

TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Raptors sports science guru Alex McKechnie has been given a promotion and contract extension.

The Scotsman has earned a reputation for his innovative treatments for injured players. The NBA champions said Tuesday he will now hold the title of vice president, player health and performance.

McKechnie helped Kawhi Leonard return to competition after the star forward missed most of the 2017-18 season with a quad injury. In the 2016 playoffs, McKechnie developed an odd treatment involving shoelaces to help DeMar DeRozan deal with a sprained thumb.

McKechnie joined the Raptors in 2011. He previously worked for 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. In other professional jobs, he has worked for soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps. In the NHL, he was a consultant for the Vancouver Canucks.