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Injuries

Delon Wright will not require surgery; expected to miss a month

It’s not as bad as it could have been.

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday that Delon Wright will not require surgery on his injured right shoulder.

This comes after Wright consulted with a specialist in New York to further evaluate the injury. Previously, the team had said test results were consistent with a shoulder dislocation. Wright’s will rehabilitate the injury with the team, and there is no timetable for his return at this time.

Wright dislocated his right shoulder on Nov. 15 when reaching for an offensive rebound against DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans. He was in obvious pain and immediately checked out of the game. This is the same shoulder that Wright dislocated and tore the labrum in during Summer League in July of 2016, an injury that cost him roughly six months. He wasn’t wearing a sling in the days that followed and expressed optimism that the injury wasn’t as serious as last time.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Wright is expected to miss a month. That’s not a bad time frame, especially with the Raptors’ schedule turning pretty friendly over the next few weeks. If Wright misses a month from the time of the injury, that’s a span of 12 or 13 games, which extends to 16 if it’s a month from today. All told, not terrible given the options they have behind him to fill in on an interim basis.

With Wright sidelined, Fred VanVleet will continue to play a larger role as the team’s backup point guard and two-way player Lorenzo Brown will be with the team fairly often. Brown can spend up to 45 days on the NBA roster before the team has to make a decision on keeping him in the G League or converting his deal to a standard NBA contract, and he’s already found his way into the back end of Dwane Casey’s rotation. VanVleet has shot the ball inconsistently early on but has the team’s utmost faith in the No. 2 role, with his defensive awareness and offensive decision-making lending confidence he can continue to be steady in the role.

I wrote more about the potential fallout from Wright’s injury here. Breathe a sigh of relief that there’s no labrum tear and no surgery is required, which could make this a matter of weeks rather than the months it took last time.

As a minor note, the team’s release says only that Wright does not require surgery “at this time,” so it’s possible an offseason clean-up procedure may be a possibility.

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