Report: Raptors coach Nick Nurse says Marc Gasol is 'fully healed' from hamstring injury

Cameron Fields

The Toronto Raptors now have even more reason to believe they have a legitimate shot at winning a second straight title. 

According to Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet, Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Marc Gasol is healthy and is "fully healed" from a left hamstring injury. Gasol missed 12 straight games from Dec. 20 to Jan. 12 because of the injury. 

He returned Jan. 15 for the Raptors' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he then played in seven straight games after. 

During Toronto's Jan. 28 game against the Atlanta Hawks, Gasol left the game with left hamstring tightness, per Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. He missed 16 of the Raptors' last 17 games before the shutdown. 

"He's fully healed, and as you know he looks great," Nurse said, per Grange. "His skills look fantastic as well...I don't see any issues." 

Near the end of June, a photo of Gasol surfaced on Twitter that showed he had lost weight. 

Gasol has served as a precursor to Nikola Jokic because of his solid mobility and playmaking at his size. 

Jokic is the better passer and more polished playmaker, but Gasol's ability to pass from the elbow and out of the post is one of his best attributes. He has dished 3.4 assists this season and for his career. 

Gasol has improved his 3-point shooting while in Toronto. Before being traded to the team in February 2019, he had only shot 40% or better from the 3-point line twice in his career. Those two seasons were the 2010-11 campaign and 2015-16 campaign -- but he shot 0.1 attempts a game both seasons. 

So far with the Raptors, he has shot 41.3% from the 3-point line on an average of 2.9 attempts a game. 

This season, Gasol has averaged career-lows in points per game (7.6) and field goal percentage (41.9%). 

But if he can return to his production from even last season, when he was an integral part of the title team, the Raptors will continue to be formidable in the Eastern Conference. 

Toronto will play its first seeding game Aug. 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers.