For a team in need of some size in the frontcourt, the Toronto Raptors will have to wait a little bit longer for reinforcements.
Center Khem Birch remains out of the lineup following off-season knee surgery and isn’t quite ready for game action.
Birch revealed to reporters on Thursday that the surgery he had back in May was due in part to a torn meniscus that had gone undetected by MRIs
Khem Birch said offseason surgery revealed a torn meniscus they went undetected by MRIs. He says he's not 100% now, but working his way back.
— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) September 29, 2022
Last season, Birch was limited to only 55 games due to nagging knee issues that turned out to be a torn meniscus. Since the MRIs didn’t reveal anything, Birch continued to play.
The Raptors had signed Birch near the end of the 2020-2021 NBA season after he was waived by the Orlando Magic.
He suited up in 19 games, including 17 starts for the Raptors that year and put up the best numbers of his career to the tune of 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 55.6 percent from the field.
His play was rewarded with a three-year, $20 million deal from the Raptors giving the Canadian native his first long-term stability in the NBA.
This past season, however, Birch was limited due to the injury.
When healthy, Khem Birch provides the Raptors with size and ability in the paint. It’s something that they’ve been lacking and that they hoped to address by drafting Christian Koloko with the 33rd overall pick this summer.
While Birch may not be the ultimate answer to the Raptors need for size, he can most certainly help once he is fully recovered from his injury. He was a part-time starter last season and his spot could be up for grabs.