It has been a long road to recovery, but the Raptors are almost back to being the powerhouse team they were at the beginning of the season. It’s no secret that Toronto has been plagued by injuries this season. With Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam on the bench, the team has lost some valuable players over the season. 

Thankfully, the NBA champions silenced the doubters by proving they can thrive as a team even while operating without full star power.

However, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard for those injured players to sit helplessly on the sidelines and watch their teammates struggle to overcome daunting obstacles.

Gasol, who has been benched for a gruelling 12 games due to a hamstring injury he suffered back in December, revealed on Tuesday that he plans to rejoin the lineup tonight ahead of the Raptors bout against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The match will reunite the Spanish baller with Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell, who came back Sunday after being injured during the same game as Gasol.

The 35-year-old opened up yesterday about the personal struggles he faced while sitting on the bench.

“It’s always hard, you want to be about there with your guys, you want to help any way possible. It’s frustrating when you are not out there,” Gasol said in a video shared via the team’s Twitter.

“Obviously, you try to make out of any situation the best possible. I’d rather be playing than sitting, but sitting obviously should help." 

He also touched on why he thinks so many Raptors were injured this season and the importance of patience.

“You don’t have as much rest but not just rest. Not just rest but time to work on stuff you need to work on, it’s maintenance more than anything, you don’t have as much time because you’re competing and you’re trying to win, and you’re ready to win games,” he added.

Despite Gasol's emotional confession about finding it difficult to be away from his teammates, other players have revealed additional reasons to why being benched is difficult. 

Pascal admitted that the hardest part of him being benched was having to dress smart. 

The Raptors will play Oklahoma City on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at 8:00 p.m.

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