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Raptors’ Chris Boucher out 3-4 weeks following finger surgery

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 21: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Amalie Arena on April 21, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

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This is a big season for Chris Boucher. The Raptors big man was coming off a breakout season, was expected to battle in camp for the starting center spot on the team, and it is a contract year — he is an unrestricted free agent next summer.

All of that will be put on hold for 3-4 weeks while he recovers from finger surgery, something Nick Nurse told the media before the team’s first preseason game Monday. Via Josh Lewenberg of TSN:

The surgery was done to re-align his middle finger, according to a report.

That has Boucher out the first couple of weeks of the regular season, most likely. That means Khem Birch will be the starting center opening night, and expect Precious Achiuwa to get a little run behind him.

Boucher averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds a game last season, and his efficiency remained high — a 63.4 true shooting percentage — as his minutes nearly doubled last season. He can score around the rim but took nearly four 3-pointers a game last season and hit 38.3% of them. He’s an impressive shot blocker on defense but can get himself in trouble on that end of the court chasing blocks.

Boucher is poised for a big season, but all that will be delayed a few weeks.