Raptors hire medical guru

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:33 PM ET

The NBA lockout has not prevented the Raptors from making another strong off-season move.

As expected, Alex McKechnie has come aboard as Toronto's director of sports science, overseeing all athletic training, rehabilitation and strength and conditioning.

McKechnie spent eight full-time seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and 12 in total. The team won five titles in that span and he is credited with extending the prime years of Shaquille O'Neal's career.

He is an innovator in core training and movement integration and is extremely highly-regarded.

“I am delighted to be a part of such a quality organization and look forward to working with the Raptors, as well as living in a great city like Toronto,” McKechnie said in a release.

The Glasgow native arrived in British Columbia in 1974, as a physiotherapist at Simon Fraser University.

He later opened a private practice and worked with the Canadian Olympic soccer team, the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Vancouver Canucks (for 20 years) and the Lakers.

Strength and conditioning coach Francesco Cuzzolin, who joined the Raptors in July of 2009 has left the team to return to Italy.

Cuzzolin spent over a decade with Benneton Treviso where he first worked with Andrea Bargnani and Raptors executive Maurizio Gherardini.

Before the lockout started, the Raptors were lauded for hiring Dwane Casey as head coach and for drafting Jonas Valanciunas fifth overall at the NBA draft.


Videos

Photos