Evans close to returning, not this week

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

TORONTO - The return of Reggie Evans doesn’t appear to be coming this week.

After going through his hardest and most engaged practice with teammates since breaking his foot on Nov. 21, the big man pronounced himself out for Sunday’s tilt with the Dallas Mavericks and likely Tuesday’s game against New Orleans as well.

Evans said he is still feeling some discomfort when he makes sharp turns, but is fine when he runs up and down the court.

“Even if I was 100% I wouldn’t play (Sunday) anyways because I need to get practices in,” Evans told the Sun.

“(Over the all-star beak) I did some stuff on my own, but I need to practise with the team. Scrimmage, banging, Andrea (Bargnani, out with flu-like symptoms) not being here helped me get my reps today.”

Evans and head coach Jay Triano said the team has also put in a host of new plays that the veteran will have to pick up before he can get back in.

When might the return be?

“I don’t know, I really don’t know,” Evans said with a shrug.

“Wait and see.”

Triano said he has not yet determined how his rotations will work once Evans is able to return to the lineup.

Rookie Ed Davis has been excellent in the absence of the veteran and Amir Johnson is having the best season of his young career and has been one of the top Raptors this year.

“(Davis and Johnson) both have played well and we’re going to have to manage minutes for him and for the two of them,” Triano said.

“But, different things happen so we’ll deal with them when we know he’s back 100%, clean bill of health.”

Since Davis and Johnson project to be key parts of Toronto’s young core going forward and Evans is a free agent this summer, there is a chance that Evans could be bought out in order to join a contender, but nobody from the team has discussed the subject openly.

Evans played well beside Bargnani earlier in the season when the team hovered around the .500 mark and was among the NBA’s leaders in rebounding at 12.1 per game.


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