It’s easy to forget now, with everything over and done with and the July heat melting our brains, but Kyle Lowry really did lead the Raptors to the 2019 NBA title with a busted thumb.
Back in that momentous Game 7 vs. the Sixers — the night of The Shot — Lowry cranked his left thumb and gamely continued to play. Afterwards, he acknowledged that it happened, that it was bothering him — even nothing that “during the game, I can’t feel my thumb” — but that it wasn’t going to stop him from playing. As Toronto’s march to the title continued, and Lowry kept getting photographed while wearing a special oven mitt-looking device that improved circulation in his hand, the obvious questions were right there: would it ever affect Lowry’s play? And when, oh when, would he have it repaired?
We have the answer to that first question firmly in hand (pardon the pun). Lowry’s play did vacillate at times during the playoffs, but it’s hard to point to a moment where the injury limited what he could do in any given moment, numb digit and all. Look no further than Lowry’s Game 6 performance in the NBA Finals: a 26 point-10 assist-7 rebound masterpiece — with 56 percent shooting from the floor and 57 percent from three to boot. Yeah, it’s fair to say the injury did not meaningfully affect his play.
But to that second question, as we’ve crept further and further away from the evening of that fateful Game 6 (we’re past a month now), it’s been fair to wonder when Lowry would get his thumb looked after. Thanks to the intrepid reporting of Woj, now we have an answer to that one too:
Toronto Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry had a procedure to repair tendon injury in his left thumb, league source tells ESPN. Lowry hopes to be ready for USA Basketball training camp and FIBA World Cup later in summer.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2019
Obviously this time has been one of celebration for Lowry. He helped Toronto win its first major sports championship since 1993, and the first in Raptors history. And while he had to watch his teammate Kawhi Leonard depart a little over week ago to the Clippers, one gets the feeling Lowry has been enjoying his time on top of the NBA world.
As Woj notes, Lowry is aiming to be ready for USA Basketball’s training camp which begins on August 5th. This suggests the injury and the attendant procedure were not so serious, and that Lowry will just need a couple weeks to get back into playing condition — which is good news for everyone involved.