The Toronto Raptors could welcome Serge Ibaka back to the lineup soon.
Prior to Toronto's game against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse told the media that Ibaka is ahead of schedule and could return for the team's upcoming game in Atlanta.
Ibaka, however, did not practice with the team on Friday and is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game against the Hawks. Nurse reportedly said he'd like Ibaka to get a practice in before he returns, so he's more likely to return on Monday, Nov. 25, when the Raptors host the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ibaka didn't practice today. He'll travel with the team to Atlanta but is unlikely to play. He's close but Nurse wants him to get a practice in before he returns. Lowry is about a week away from being game ready, Nurse estimates a Dec. 1 target date.- Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) November 22, 2019
Ibaka sprained his ankle in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 8. The Raptors announced the next day that he was out indefinitely.
Prior to his injury, Ibaka was averaging 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 22.9 minutes per game. He was shooting an efficient 52.4 percent from the field and 82.6 percent from the free throw line.
Several players have stepped up in Ibaka's absence, including his backup at centre, Chris Boucher. Boucher has scored in double figures in four of the six games Ibaka has missed and has finished with a double-double in each of his last two games.
The Raptors are 4-2 in the games Ibaka and Kyle Lowry have missed this month.