According to Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, reserve center Chris Boucher will miss three-to-four weeks after receiving surgery to repair a dislocated middle finger on his left hand.
Nurse says Chris Boucher had surgery to repair dislocated finger and he will be out 3-4 weeks minimum- (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) October 4, 2021
This comes as tough news for the Raptors, who will already be without All-Star forward Pascal Siakam until a "ball park target" of US Thanksgiving - meaning late November.
Boucher's three-to-four week timeline means the Montreal native will miss the entire preseason and the first week of the season at the least, with a possibility of trickling into the second week of the season, too.
Take a look at the games Boucher is in danger of missing below.
|Wednesday, Oct. 20||vs. Washington Wizards|
|Friday, Oct. 22||at Boston Celtics|
|Saturday, Oct. 23||vs. Dallas Mavericks|
|Monday, Oct. 25||vs. Chicago Bulls|
|Wednesday, Oct. 27||vs. Indiana Pacers|
|Friday, Oct. 29||vs. Orlando Magic|
|Saturday, Oct. 30||at Indiana Pacers|
With Siakam and Boucher out, the Raptors will have plenty of frontcourt minutes available to start the season. While it's safe to assume No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes will fill Siakam's spot in the starting lineup in the interim, who will take Boucher's minutes as a backup big?
With coach Nurse's history of giving players a chance to earn their playing time, the answer to that question will likely be found in Toronto's five preseason games.
Look for athletic and versatile big man Precious Achiuwa - who was acquired in the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat - to be the frontrunner to see an uptick in minutes. The 22-year-old was the piece who helped make that deal worth-while for the Raptors' long-term, and this could be seen as a great opportunity to carve out a role immediately.
Other options include Freddie Gillespie, who did a solid job backing up starting center Khem Birch in Boucher's absence at the end of the season last year, defensive-minded forward Ishmail Wainright and physical big man Reggie Perry.
The Raptors will look forward to Boucher's return after the 28-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career last year, averaging 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.5 3-pointers and 1.1 assists over 60 games.
Stick with NBA.com for all updates on the Canadian center's finger injury.
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