After Wednesday night’s solid Raptors’ win against Brooklyn, we were waiting to see what the news would be regarding Toronto forward Chris Boucher. He went down hard in that game after landing awkwardly on the foot of Timothe Luwawu-Caborrot. As with any injury, the reported update provides both some clarifying bad news — but, fortunately, there’s some good stuff here too.
Let’s turn to Shams Charania of The Athletic for a proper update:
Raptors' Chris Boucher has a sprained MCL in his left knee and his return timetable will be based on rehab process, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Good news: Tests revealed no major injury in the breakout F/C's knee.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 23, 2021
Obviously, it remains to be seen how long the rehab process will take — but the injury not needing surgery is a best-case outcome here for the Raptors and for Boucher.
Throughout his career, Boucher has shown himself to be a fairly durable player — which is somewhat surprising given his slight frame and sometimes reckless (or fearless) style of play. While Toronto has perhaps less need for frontcourt help these days, thanks to the emergence of Khem Birch and Freddie Gillespie as the team’s centres, Boucher had been providing the team with a spark in his role off the bench and as a spot starter. He’d also finally settled into his natural position of power forward, which unlocked the best version of himself in Toronto. In all of this, say what you will of the outcomes of his various performances, Boucher’s confidence has never wavered — which has proven to be a boon for the Raptors.
While injuries are never good, the timing of this one for Toronto feels particularly cruel — even with the news of its limited severity. The Raptors have been dealing with all sorts of injuries (and, of course, a COVID-19 outbreak!), and they just on Wednesday were finally whole and rested. Here’s hoping Boucher can bounce back in time to help Toronto’s push for the play-in tournament — and the playoffs beyond.
Update from the Raptors:
Boucher will be out until (almost) the end of the month at least — and then he’ll be re-evaluated.