Jonas Valanciunas has been cleared to rejoin the Toronto Raptors’ practices, according to a report. The Lithuanian centre has been absent for the past 15 games of the Canadian squad after suffering from a hand injury earlier in the season.

Valanciunas, who was injured in a Nov. 20 game versus the Los Angeles Lakers, has started 14 games prior to the injury averaging a near double-double of 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds.

The 23-year-old player had fractured the fourth metacarpal of his non-shooting left hand in the Lakers game, and the big man opted for rehabilitation over surgery on the injury.

The Lithuanian centre also had a similar injury to his right hand during his rookie year that cost him to miss 18 games in his first year in the league. Valanciunas was originally diagnosed to be out from four to six weeks because of the injury and the report that he has rejoined the team’s practices is consistent to the original estimate return to the court for him.

In his 14 games, Valanciunas has posted six double-doubles for the year. His best statistical game of the season is the team’s opening game against the Indiana Pacers when he had 21 points on 8-of-11 field goal shooting plus 15 rebounds, both season-highs, in a 106-99 victory for Toronto.

Without Valanciunas, the Raptors turned to another young big guy, Bismack Biyombo, to man the centre spot. Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson and Lucas Nogueira has shared minutes at both power forward and centre positions in Valanciunas’ absence.

Valanciunas' expected return in a few days is expected to give the Raptors’ frontline a boost as they try to improve on their 17-12 win-loss record through Tuesday’s games. Toronto is struggling recently losing three of their last four games after starting December at 5-2.

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