Despite being on pace for at least 50 regular-season wins and challenging Cleveland for the top seed in the East, the Toronto Raptors are quite literally limping into the postseason. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun notes two key injuries hampering the Raptors as March rolls into April: Kyle Lowry‘s elbow and DeMarre Carroll‘s knee.
Of the two, Carroll’s injury is clearly more significant. It’s not just because he was the Raptors’ splashy free agent acquisition last year, but because it appears his only chance of return is if the team makes a deep playoff run:
The prized free agent signing, who is also the team’s highest-paid player, appeared close to a return a few weeks ago when he was driving to the hoop against assistant coaches and launching three-pointers. The next step was clearance for contact. But then all went dark. Carroll’s been in Atlanta tending to some personal matters (he is due back this week), the team has kept tight-lipped, but every indication from talking to various people is there has been some sort of set-back and his return this season is very much in doubt. Quietly, the team has taken the belief that he will need more time, and only a deep playoff run would let him return this season.
It felt as though Carroll would be able to return this month, but that’s obviously not going to be the case. The forward hasn’t played in nearly four months and his 2015-16 season has essentially been one giant injury-filled effort (he also suffered from plantar fasciitis earlier in the season). That the Raptors have gotten this far and done this well without Carroll, who showed flashes of his impact with 11.7 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game, is a tremendous accomplishment.
However, it’s equally troubling if Carroll won’t be healthy for the postseason. And if there are any complications with Lowry, then Toronto would be in even deeper trouble.
(Via the Toronto Sun)