The Toronto Raptors have done a nice job staying afloat in the Eastern Conference this season despite losing Kawhi Leonard in the summer. While the top of the East has been tough this year, Toronto sits at 19-8 on the year, good for fourth place with a 4.5-game difference between themselves and the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.
But if the Raptors are going to keep up this pace, they’ll have two do it without a pair of starters and one of their most impactful bench players. Earlier in the day on Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that starting center Marc Gasol is headed to the bench indefinitely with an injury. Not only did the team confirm that on Thursday evening, but it also announced that Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell will be sidelined indefinitely, too.
Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Norman Powell all out indefinitely. As feared, Powell has a subluxation of that shoulder again. Siakam sufferer a “stretched groin.” pic.twitter.com/w0GjYizHvM
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) December 20, 2019
Toronto has been hit awfully hard by the injury bug this season. Prior to these absences, Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka missed time with ailments, but have both returned recently. Additionally, Fred VanVleet has not played in any of the last five games due to knee issues.
It goes without saying, but losing three players as important as Gasol, Powell, and Siakam for an unknown period of time is a brutal blow for Toronto. The important thing is being healthy for the postseason, and the team has enough of a cushion that it’s hard to imagine them falling out of the playoffs altogether, but the Raptors are still assuredly hoping that these absences won’t drag on for too terribly long.