The Toronto Raptors may have some change in the most stable starting lineup they’ve had in years.
OG Anunoby left the team’s Sunday game against the Charlotte Hornets in the second quarter, limping right off the floor and directly to the locker room. Replays showed that he stepped on Marvin Williams’ foot fighting through a screen, then limped through a possession before coming out and limping directly to the locker room.
He was not on the floor to start the second half. The team then announced that he has a right ankle sprain and will not return. Norman Powell drew the start in the third quarter.
That’s probably a better outcome than most people’s worst fear when he came up limping. The team will probably play this cautiously, and with only a back-to-back left before the All-Star break, that could mean Anunoby getting some extra time off.
Anunoby has appeared in all 55 Raptors games this season, averaging 21.2 minutes entering play Sunday and proving an effective part of some of the team’s best units. He’s been a revelation, really, well ahead of schedule following January surgery to repair a torn ACL that sunk his draft stock to some degree. He also hasn’t reported any lingering effects of the knee recovery, with the worst thing that’s come up being a bump to the thigh last week. Anunoby hasn’t played this many games in a season before, and while he’s shot down any suggestion of physical or mental fatigue, it’s possible he’s hitting a bit of a wall. The All-Star break should help in that regard.