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Jonas Valanciunas injury update: Raptors' center to return to lineup

The Raptors will be getting an added boost Friday with Jonas Valanciunas expected back on the court for the first time since Dec. 21.

USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey confirmed that Jonas Valanciunas (finger) will make his return Friday off the bench when the Clippers come into town.

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Valanciunas hasn't seen any action since fracturing his finger back on Dec. 21. With Andrea Bargnani out, Valanciunas play behind Aaron Gray and Amir Johnson Friday but it shouldn't be too long before he retakes his starting role.

Through 28 games as a starter this season, Valanciunas has averaged 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks all while shooting an efficient 52.4 percent from the field. The Lithuanian big man did show signs of slowing down before his injury though, putting up averages of only 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in the month of December.

With the newly-acquired Rudy Gay also expected to come off the bench Friday in his first game with the team, it will be interesting to see what kind of punch Toronto's second unit packs.