Raptors' Valanciunas to play tonight vs. Hawks
From NBA Twitter and media reports
The Toronto Raptors are getting an important member of their frontcourt back after he was out of the lineup nearly two months.
Center Jonas Valanciunas will play tonight against the Atlanta Hawks (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass), marking his first game with the Raptors since he suffered a dislocated left thumb on Dec. 12. A day after suffering that injury Valanciunas had surgery and was slated to miss at least four weeks.
Valanciunas will play tonight
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 7, 2019
“I’m really excited…nothing crazy’s gonna happen.” Valanciunas expects to feel 100% other than game conditioning, thinks time off will have him well rested and hungry down the stretch.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) February 7, 2019
He has been working himself back into shape since then, but missed 25 games during that absence. The Raptors went 16-9 during that span and saw their defensive rating fall to 109.8 (16th in the NBA) after ranking seventh in defensive rating (105.3) before Valanciunas’ absence.
Valanciunas is averaging 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 18.8 minutes per game this season. He has led the team in rebounding 11 times, and recorded five double-doubles. At the time of his injury, he was one of three players to appear in every game for the Raptors along with Danny Green and Pascal Siakam.