TORONTO - The Raptors are hoping to get some good news Thursday, as injured forward DeMarre Carroll seeks clearance from the doctor who performed arthroscopic surgery on his right knee over two months ago, sources tell TSN.
Carroll travelled to New York City for the follow-up appointment Thursday morning and, assuming he's cleared for contact, could resume practising over the coming days.
The 29-year-old sustained the injury in his seventh game of the campaign, his first season with Toronto after two breakout years as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. He tweaked it again 10 days later, colliding with Clippers centre DeAndre Jordan, and eventually sat out for nine games before a brief and unsuccessful return sidelined him once again.
He finally underwent exploratory surgery on Jan. 6, without a timetable for return, and has missed the team's last 27 games.
Over the last week Carroll has ramped up his on-court work after practices, participating in some light shooting, conditioning and one-on-one drills with coaches and some of his teammates.
With five weeks left in the regular season, the Raptors will continue to be cautious with their starting small forward. After sitting out for so long, unable to do much cardio during that time, Carroll will likely need a few practices under his belt before being reinserted into the lineup.
Barring a setback, a late-March return date is most likely. The Raptors are still hoping to get him in 10-13 games before the playoffs.
Carroll has appeared in just 23 games this season, starting all but one, and averaging 11.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting 38 per cent from three-point range in 32 minutes per contest.