Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka nearing return from injury

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Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) gets a high five from guard Kyle Lowry (7). (Nick Wass/AP)

TORONTO – Injured Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka could be nearing a return.

Providing an update after practice on Friday, Raptors coach Nick Nurse said that the team is "shooting for" a Dec. 1 return for Lowry when the Raptors are scheduled to face the Utah Jazz at Scotiabank Arena.

Ibaka has a slight chance to be back in the lineup as early as this Saturday as he’s travelling with the team to Atlanta and is listed as "doubtful."

There are reasons for optimism in regards to an earlier-than-expected Ibaka return though as the Raptors forward was seen splashing jumpers after practice.

Both Lowry and Ibaka have missed Toronto’s last six games after they both got hurt in a Nov. 8 game against the New Orleans Pelicans that saw Lowry leave the contest with a thumb injury and Ibaka with a right ankle sprain.

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This season, Lowry is averaging 21.8 points, 6.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 42.6 per cent from three-point range. Ibaka, on the other hand, is putting up averages of 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 52.4 per cent from the floor.

In other Raptors injury news, Patrick McCaw, who has missed the club’s last nine games with a left knee issue appears to be making good progress recovering from the surgical procedure he underwent on Nov. 6 to repair the knee.

"Pretty good news on him," said Nurse of McCaw. "No matter what, he’s four weeks out from the surgery. They’ve got to let some tissue and stuff heel, but I did talk to [Raptors vice president, player health and performance] Alex [McKechnie] this morning and he said he’s really happy. He said he’s pain free already. He said he’s moving pretty well already. It’s a tissue-healing issue that just takes some time before we can really cut him loose."

Additionally, the Raptors announced that rookie centre Dewan Hernandez has suffered a right thumb sprain and will miss Saturday’s contest against the Hawks in addition to Lowry, McCaw and the sparsely-used Stanley Johnson, who is dealing with a stress reaction in his groin.

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