As widely speculated, the Raptors’ star shooting guard is slated to return on during the start of a six-game homestand.
According to a report from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, DeMar DeRozan will make his return from a torn groin on Jan. 8 in Toronto against the Charlotte Hornets.
An earlier report from Eric Koreen of the National Post corroborated as much, noting that DeRozan was targeting a return sometime during the Raptors six-game homestand between Jan 8-18.
Assuming that DeRozan does return against the Hornets, DeRozan would have missed a total of 19 games (including the loss to the Mavericks) which marks the longest continuous absence of DeRozan’s career. The original prognosis of DeRozan’s injury called for him to miss between 4-to-6 weeks. This timeline puts DeRozan’s return towards the latter half of that healing schedule.
The Raptors have accumulated a record of 11-7 without their all-star, during which time they boasted the league’s best offense (116.6 OffRtg). However, the Raptors also posted the 4th-worst defense, epitomized by Friday’s debacle against the Golden State Warriors, conceding a defensive rating of 108.3 in their last 18 games.
A return to full health, coupled with a softer schedule, should see the Raptors make up ground against the Atlanta Hawks, who currently hold the best record in the Eastern Conference, a distinction the Raptors owned or held a share of for nearly the entirety of the season thus far.
Prior to his injury, DeRozan averaged 19.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 33.6 minutes per game, good for a PER of 16.7, while scoring at a true-shooting percentage of 49.4.