Following offseason thumb surgery, Kyle Lowry has yet to participate in training camp drills for the Toronto Raptors.
Lowry, who also missed playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup thanks to the surgery, initially hurt the thumb in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers in May. With the help of what looked at times like an oven mitt, he was able to keep it loose and play through it — culminating in a masterpiece performance in Game 6 of the NBA Finals — but it was clear the thumb wasn’t right.
In an interview with TSN, Lowry indicated the injury was extremely painful, and required a heavy dose of painkillers just to play through it.
He had surgery at the end of July.
On Media Day, Lowry said he “wasn’t where he wanted to be” in terms of pre-season preparation; since then, he hasn’t participated in contact drills or scrimmages, according to multiple reports, and there’s no timetable for his return.
So: Should we be worried?
Lowry’s health definitely leads to questions. Will he participate in camp at all? Will he play in the preseason games — in Japan, or here closer to home? Will he be ready in time for the season?! After all, Raptors title defense isn’t nearly as fun or interesting if Kyle Lowry isn’t a huge part of it. And if Lowry isn’t ready for opening night, it’s going to put a huge damper on that ring and banner ceremony. And then what: A Load Management program similar to that of Kawhi Leonard’s? Alex McKechnie’s legacy may yet live on! And would a slow start or limited games impact his upcoming free agency?
But it’s way too early for those questions. In other words, it’s not time to worry. There’s no indication that Lowry won’t be ready, at some point in camp, to play full on. In that same interview above, Lowry says he’s cleared for contact, but they're being patient.
No one on or around the team is expressing any real concern; everything seems precautionary at this point. The man is 33, after all, coming off of an extremely long season; and with low expectations this season, there’s no reason to rush anything.
Nevertheless, the situation is worth monitoring, at least until we see the GROAT back on the court at 100%.