Coming to a Raptors workout near you -- Nathan Jawai.
The man of mystery with the injury mystery was cleared to practise with the team last night, though don't look for the big Australian from Sydney to be suiting up until well into January.
"I was a pretty tough time. I'm glad it's over. I hope in two, three or four weeks to be ready," Jawai said last night.
Part of the Jermaine O'Neal trade with Indiana, Jawai was diagnosed with a heart condition on the eve of training camp and has been a glum sidelines observer the past 10 weeks, with the team mum on his status.
A report in an Australian newspaper a month ago said he had an enlarged heart and though more rest was the recommendation, there was the chance the 22-year-old might have to retire.
"This is great news for Nate," Toronto coach Jay Triano said before taking on the Dallas Mavericks. "He has travelled with the team all the time, he has sat there and watched practice. It will be a little bit of time before he's in any kind of shape to play, but at least we can start working with him. Hopefully, we can get him ready to help out some time in the new year."
The 280-pound, 6-foot-10 forward, known as the 'Aussie Shaq', was the first indigenous Australian drafted into the NBA. Though Jawai was immediately taken into the gym last night for his first serious workout, Triano said he would be cautious at how he brings Jawai up to speed.
"We'll have to base it on what the doctors say and how much he can withstand," Triano said. "Then we have to talk about him getting into shape to play an NBA game. I wouldn't even guess at a time."
Jawai is back in the picture at the same time Triano has challenged the team to rebound the ball better.
"We have a need for anyone who can go and get the basketball," Triano said.