OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. and Thaddeus Young were all full practice participants on Tuesday evening and head coach Nick Nurse said they looked “good, healthy and ready to go,” on Thursday against New Orleans, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. All three players will indeed play tonight, Lewenberg confirmed on Thursday (via Twitter).
Barring Otto Porter, who is out for the season after foot surgery, the rest of Toronto’s injury report was clean until Fred VanVleet was downgraded to out shortly before tip-off due to personal reasons, per Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link).
Of the group who are set to return, Anunoby had missed the most time — he’s been out the past nine games with a wrist injury he suffered nearly a month ago.
Here are more injury updates from around the NBA:
- Jae Crowder is set to make his season debut for the Bucks on Friday against Miami, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Crowder, who sat out the entire ’22/23 season while awaiting a trade from Phoenix, was working out with Bobby Portis and Joe Ingles in Miami during the All-Star break, per Nehm. Portis has been out for a month with a sprained knee, but he was able to practice before the break and will return to action on Friday. According to Nehm, head coach Mike Budenholzer was optimistic about Khris Middleton returning Friday as well. The three-time All-Star has been dealing with right knee soreness lately, missing the final game before the break. All three players are list as available on the latest injury report, Nehm tweets.
- However, things aren’t so positive for Giannis Antetokounmpo (wrist sprain) and Pat Connaughton (left calf soreness), who are both doubtful for Friday’s game, Nehm adds. Giannis is day-to-day, while Connaughton was only a partial practice participant Thursday for the Bucks.
- Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant are both out for Thursday’s matchup in Sacramento due to rest, the Trail Blazers announced (via Twitter). As Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report explains (via Twitter), the Blazers’ flight out of Portland was delayed for several hours on Wednesday due to a snow storm and finally departed late Thursday afternoon.
- Nuggets guard Jamal Murray returned to action on Thursday in Cleveland after dealing with knee soreness leading into the break, tweets Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports Radio. Murray had missed the previous six games. Unfortunately, Aaron Gordon remains sidelined with a rib injury, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Head coach Michael Malone said Gordon’s rib issue is “not where I would wish it would be,” according to Singer, who hears from a source (via Twitter) that the rib isn’t fractured, but it’s still limiting Gordon’s effectiveness.