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It’s time to play a game called Which Raptor Is Injured

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It’s the craze that’s sweeping the nation, a simple game that’s fun for the whole family. It’s time to figure out which Raptor is currently injured.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

As we all know, the NBA season is long. For a team to make it from one end to the other without significant injury feels like a minor miracle. The best case scenario most squads can hope for is that when injuries happen they aren’t too serious, are easy to heal from, not recurring, and occur at a time in the season that is, let’s say, less important — like, hmm, right now.

In that spirit, the Raptors have been hit particularly hard by the injury bug as of late. It’s undoubtedly cost them a few wins (and maybe $15K), yet the team still sits atop the league with a 23-9 record. More importantly, the injuries are coming prior to the All-Star break, a time when, while the wins matter, they don’t count as much as those last couple needed to clinch first in the conference, or first overall, or, of course, in the playoffs themselves.

Still, it’s time to take stock and play a little game. It’s simple really, the title says it all: Which Raptor Is Injured? Now, how does one play? Simple again: we rhyme off the player, consider the situation, and then ask: is he injured? Then we provide an answer.

Is this a fun game? Hell no, but let’s play anyway, starting right from the top...

Kawhi Leonard

The Situation:

Kawhi sat out for almost an entire year and entered this season as one big super-talented question mark. How has that gamble paid off for Toronto? Through 24 games, Leonard is averaging 26.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.8 steals, while shooting 49 percent from the field, 38 percent from three, and 86 percent from the free throw line. He’s been healthy as hell.

Kawhi has missed eight games though, due to either injury or rest (though mostly the latter), as the Raptors have kept him out of back-to-backs so far this season. It’s a canny move, though we’ve all been monitoring the situation to see when the Raps really let Kawhi loose.

Is He Injured?

No! After sitting both nights of a back-to-back against the Clippers and the Warriors, Leonard has been all the way back, almost single-handedly powering the Raps to two wins they maybe didn’t quite deserve. He’s apparently healthy after recently suffering from a bruised right hip.

Kyle Lowry

The Situation:

Raptors fans wince every time Lowry hits the deck or takes a charge, because, well, he remains the most important member of the team. With Lowry at full strength and firing, Toronto can be confident their team is giving it their best shot. So far this season, he’s missed three games, including the last two due to back spasms.

Is He Injured?

Yes! Lowry right now is listed as questionable due to a bruised left thigh. I suppose this is an improvement, given that it was likely his back spasms that contributed to his recent slump, during which Lowry looked tentative in both shooting and driving. Given the Raptors’ desire to play it safe with Lowry (which should override his competitive nature), we’ll err on the side of caution too.

Danny Green

The Situation:

Is He Injured?

No!

Pascal Siakam

The Situation:

In the Raptors’ game against Portland, Siakam hit the deck hard and had to sit out not only that game but Sunday’s contest against the Nuggets. Not the best turn of events for the league’s presumptive Most Improve Player, still it could have been much worse.

Is He Injured?

No! That’s right, Siakam is listed as probable after getting a full practice in with the Raptors. Things are looking up once again!

Serge Ibaka

The Situation:

With Ibaka now a full-time centre, concern abounded over whether he’d able to withstand the punishment usually reserved for the biggest and strongest players in the league. So far Serge has only missed one game due to mysterious knee soreness.

Is He Injured?

Yes! Somehow, in the middle of the night, Ibaka went from playing 34 minutes on Sunday, with 14 points and seven rebounds to show for it, all the way to questionable with, dun dun dun, knee soreness. Having spent a large portion of those 34 minutes guarding beefy boy Nikola Jokic may have had something to do with the injury. It sounds likely Ibaka will miss tomorrow night’s game against the Pacers.

Fred VanVleet

The Situation:

What injury hasn’t hit Fred VanVleet this season? He’s often the smallest guy out there at any given time, which has meant a string of toe, foot, leg, and back injuries — and a rough start to the season. As of late, FVV has gotten healthier while getting a few starts under his belt to put up the kinds of numbers expected of him this season. All good things.

Is He Injured?

No! I’m calling it — FVV’s back spasms sound to be shortlived. He practiced today and sounds ready to go tomorrow night. (Though it is funny that FVV is copying Lowry’s style of play right down to the resulting aches and pains.)

Jonas Valanciunas

The Situation:

Other than a broken finger back in 2015-16, Valanciunas has been one of the most durable Raptors over the past five or so seasons. This season, as a super sub, JV has been more productive than ever in even more limited minutes (despite finding himself run off the floor in some games). He remains the Raptors’ best big body, and one of the few players on the team who can often manufacture a decent scoring chance out of thin air.

Is He Injured?

Yes! Unfortunately, Valanciunas is once again dealing with a hand injury. This time, he took a chop from Draymond Green which dislocated his left thumb and put him on the shelf for a month at least. We’re almost at the one week mark, so it’ll be some time before we see JV play again — even though the injury was to his off-hand.

OG Anunoby

The Situation:

Anunoby hurt his wrist in a game against the Celtics back on November 16. He sat out the subsequent three games, and had a nice 15 point outing in his first game back (against Washington). But since then, OG’s shooting numbers have taken something of a dive — especially from the free throw line where he’s now shooting [checks paper]... 29 percent!

Is He Injured?

No! But man, coupled with his 43 and 30 percent shooting from the field and deep, respectively, it certainly feels like OG isn’t quite himself.

Delon Wright

The Situation:

The quietest Raptor on the team sat a handful of games at the start of the season, but as since been playing it straight through. Fortunately, there is no shoulder-related news to report (long a problem for Delon) — Wright just had to deal with a sore groin. He’s since been healthy, putting up typically Wright-ian averages across the board.

Is He Injured?

No! I... I just said what the situation was. Delon is fine.

C.J. Miles

The Situation:

Where to start with this one? Despite getting himself into great shape before the start of the season, Miles opened the year by first dealing with right hip bursitis and then straining his right adductor. In the meantime, Miles has unfortunately put up some of the worst numbers of his career on both sides of the ball.

Is He Injured?

No! Unless, uh, you consider the GoDaddy Curse as being part of the injury continuum, which, well...

Norman Powell

The Situation:

Powell was levelled by a screen in a game against Utah back on November 5 and has been sitting since then with a dislocated shoulder. The Raptors haven’t missed him per se, but still it would be nice to have Norm back on the bench and raring to go.

Is He Injured?

No! Powell practiced today and will play tomorrow night against the Pacers. He’s officially listed as probable, but given that the Raps will need live bodies, Norm gets the pass here. He’s ready.

Greg Monroe

The Situation:

Greg Monroe is the Moose, and he is a rock. I have no problem believe Monroe will be on the end of the bench for Toronto ready to go in any and all games. God bless Greg Monroe (and please forget all that mean stuff I said about you when you were on other teams).

Is He Injured?

No! He’s the dang Moose!

Malachi Richardson

The Situation:

There’s a ritual before most Raptors games when the huddled beat writers as coach Nick Nurse if every player is available to play on any given night. Before Toronto’s game against Philly on Dec. 5, Nurse made sure to mention, after much suspense, that Richardson would be sitting out with an injury to his toe. It did not much change the fortunes of the Raptors.

Is He Injured?

No! In fact, the “injury” Malachi was suffering from was actually illness. He’s as fine as he’ll ever be now.

Lorenzo Brown

The Situation:

Brown continues to do what he does — much to the consternation of the fan base, who can’t decide if he’s going to become a folk hero, or if he should be run out of town.

Is He Injured?

No! Though depending on who you ask, that’s not necessarily a good thing. A terrible sentiment.

Chris Boucher

The Situation:

He’s killing it in the G League!

Is He Injured?

No! And that’s all you need to know. Thanks for playing!