Report: Raptors' OG Anunoby expected to return Nov. 16 vs. Mavericks

There are few things that are worse than getting poked in the eye by the elongated claws of Kawhi Leonard, but it turns out OG Anunoby is return to the lineup sooner rather than later.

Speaking with media before the Toronto Raptors took on the Portland Trail Blazers, head coach Nick Nurse confirmed that while the 22-year-old was close to a return Nov. 13, Anunoby just wasn’t quite there and should be available for Saturday night’s encounter with the Dallas Mavericks. Sportsnet’s Eric Smith was first to report.

Anunoby suffered the injury — diagnosed as a right eye contusion — on Nov. 11 against the L.A. Clippers just a couple of minutes into the first quarter and did not return. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson filled in admirably, doing a solid job defending Leonard while also chipping in with nine points and nine rebounds in 29 minutes.

In an effort to keep his newly discovered bench core together, Nurse named Malcolm Miller as the fill-in starter against the Blazers, his first start of the season and the fifth of his career.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise as Miller has barely seen the court all season, but the performances of Terence Davis, Hollis-Jefferson, Chris Boucher and Matt Thomas on the west coast validate the need to maintain a similar rotation in the absence of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.

Anunoby has gotten off to an excellent start to the 2019-20 season, averaging 11.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks while shooting an incredible 52.8 percent from 3-point range.

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