Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan has been cleared to return, but won’t play Thursday vs. Charlotte


DeMar DeRozan was reportedly slated to return to the Raptors lineup on Thursday against the Hornets, after suffering a groin injury that has kept him sidelined for his team’s last 18 games.

But that timeline has now changed.

While DeRozan has been deemed healthy, he’ll need a little more time to get his conditioning back to the point where he feels ready to return to NBA action.

From Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca:

DeRozan’s groin injury is fully healed & he’s been cleared but both he & the docs feel he needs to get conditioning back before he returns

DeRozan says he wont play tomorrow vs Charlotte, wants to get a couple more practices in before he comes back. Could return Sat or next week

DeRozan: “I owe that to [my teammates] not to just jump back in the game. I want to get a couple more practices in and then make a comeback”

Whenever DeRozan makes it back, his return will be a welcome sight. After a 13-3 start to the season, the Raptors have gone just 11-7 with him out of the lineup — not bad, obviously, but not top-of-the-East dominant as the team once was.

DeRozan is averaging 19.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 33.6 minutes per game for the Raptors this season.