When the Raptors usher in a new era of basketball, they’ll be doing so with their franchise player on the sidelines.
After undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in June, one-time All-Star Pascal Siakam will be unavailable to start the season for the Raptors.
Siakam suffered the shoulder injury on May 8, causing him to miss the final four games of the season with what was initially called a shoulder strain. On June 11, the Raptors took to Twitter to announce that Siakam had undergone successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, adding that “the expected recovery and rehabilitation time for this procedure is approximately five months.”
With opening night falling a few weeks shy of the five-month mark, how close is Siakam to returning?
Here’s everything you need to know about his status.
How long will Pascal Siakam be out?
The initial timeline of a five-month recovery would mean that Siakam could return around Nov. 11 at the earliest, but that does not take into account outside factors such as conditioning and practice time.
After opening the season on Oct. 20, the Raptors will play 12 games before Nov. 11.
Given other factors could be at play, a better date to work by is U.S. Thanksgiving, which falls on Thursday, Nov. 25. According to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, that date is a ballpark target for Siakam’s return, which would add two weeks to the initial five-month timeline.
The Raptors play 19 games prior to Nov. 25 and their first game after that date is Friday, Nov. 26 at the Pacers.
Pascal Siakam injury timeline
May 8, 2021: Siakam, who had dealt with lingering issues, injured his shoulder against the Grizzlies and did not return to the game after 30 minutes of action.
Personnel update: Pascal Siakam, left shoulder strain, will not return.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 9, 2021
The injury effectively shut Siakam down for the season, as he missed the team’s final four games.
June 11, 2021: The Raptors announced that Siakam was a week removed from undergoing successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, giving an approximation of five months of rehab and recovery.
Sept. 27, 2021: At media day, Raptors general manager Bobby Webster shared that, while Siakam had not yet been cleared for contact drills, he had been impressing with his performance in 1-on-0 workouts at Toronto’s practice facility.
Webster says Pascal Siakam still hasn’t been cleared for contact but he’s been working out 1-on-0 at the practice facility. “He looks good. He’s in a really positive head space. I think he’s happy and ready to go.”
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) September 27, 2021
Siakam told reporters that he felt good after initial hesitancy to receive surgery, ultimately deciding to do so for the longevity of his career.
“I didn’t want to have surgery, I was super-scared, I’m from Cameroon, I always feel like there’s some remedy or something… but this was for the rest of my career …” Siakam on his shoulder, says he feels very good.
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) September 27, 2021
Oct. 12, 2021: During an appearance on Sirius XM NBA Radio, Head coach Nick Nurse said that Siakam was set to soon begin contact work and could be just a few weeks away from a return to action.
Via Nick Nurse on @SiriusXMNBA, Pascal Siakam should start contact work this week and may only be a few weeks from a return.
“He’s been going 100% for 4-6 weeks” just without contact.
Chris Boucher is about 10 days away.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 12, 2021
Oct. 20, 2021: Appearing on The FAN Morning Show, Webster shared that Siakam has started practicing but suggested that he is still a few weeks away from returning to action.
Bobby Webster told us this morning that Siakam has started practicing “a bit.”
Timeline still sounds like early/mid-November, maybe not as early as Nurse had suggested was possible last week.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 20, 2021