Injuries

Kyle Lowry leaves overtime with ‘acute back spasm;’ went for X-rays ‘on my ass’

This could be bad.

Kyle Lowry left the Toronto Raptors game against the Brooklyn Nets in overtime on Monday in a very concerning moment.

Lowry went up for an offensive rebound and was hit by both Joe Harris and Quincy Acy. Harris came chest-to-chest with Lowry, out of control, right as Acy cracked back from behind to try to get the rebound. Lowry was kind of hit between them and fell hard on his back, trying to get up multiple times before eventually leaving the game. Jonas Valanciunas and Lucas Nogueira had to carry Lowry back to the locker room, and the fact that he exited in overtime speaks volumes.

https://twitter.com/presidual/status/950565141967339520

Prior to leaving, Lowry had 18 points with five rebounds and 11 assists and had turned on KLOE mode a bit in the fourth and overtime, skying in for some difficult rebounds and making a number of key offensive plays. DeMar DeRozan would take up the mantle for his friend and score an and-one to win the game in overtime.

It doesn’t really matter. Head coach Dwane Casey confirmed after the game that Lowry is going for further testing and that he hurt “his butt.” That probably means tailbone rather than higher up on the back, which might be a positive or might not be. It’s really hard to say operating on little information. Lowry was at least in high enough spirits to make a half-joke on his way out.

Obviously, this is a major concern. Lowry’s dealt with back soreness earlier in the year, and this surely won’t help matters. The Raptors play the second night of a back-to-back tomorrow back home and then have Cleveland and Golden State visiting later this week. As much as the team may want those games, they should take every precaution with one of their most important players. There’s absolutely no reason to risk anything with Lowry’s back. Here’s hoping it’s just a bruise or a spasm rather than anything more serious, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Lowry miss some time with the long-view in mind.

Delon Wright would figure to start if Lowry misses games, and Fred VanVleet would see expanded time. Lorenzo Brown would also likely be recalled from Raptors 905 for additional depth and Norman Powell could figure back into the rotation since there won’t be two point guards filling spots off the bench. The Raptors went on a good run without Lowry last year, but they did it against a cupcake schedule and did it almost entirely on the defensive end. That success would be harder to repeat against the January slate they have coming.

Those answers probably won’t come until Tuesday night. The Raptors don’t have shootaround tomorrow morning, and it’s not really their M.O. to update as soon as possible. Cross your fingers.

UPDATE: THe Raptors are saying Lowry sustained an acute back spasm and will be re-evaluated tomorrow.

That isn’t entirely a non-update. It’s notable that they provided an update so quickly and diagnosed it as a spasm rather than a bruise or bone bruise. There are worse updates to get, is what I’m saying. It still seems likely that Lowry sits tomorrow as a precaution, and back spasms can have varying timelines (and/or linger), but this is worth a small sigh of relief. (I think.)

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