Raptors’ injury woes begin as rotation player will miss some time

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 26: Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 26: Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Last year may have been a triumphant season for a Toronto Raptors team many thought was rebuilding, but it may not have been as successful as it could have been. Many of the biggest names on the team had issues with getting on the court consistently due to injuries.

With Pascal Siakam missing out on the All-Star game because of a shoulder injury early in the season, OG Anunoby’s list of ailments, and Fred VanVleet’s gradual decline were part of the reason they didn’t have home court advantage in the postseason and lost in the first round.

Toronto tried to guard against that possibility by beefing up the bench by signing the underrated Otto Porter Jr. away from the Golden State Warriors. Bringing in an NBA champion with great shooting seemed like a perfect move for this team, but Toronto’s bad injury luck continues to sabotage this team.

Porter suffered a hamstring injury in camp, with Nurse vaguely saying that he will be out “a little while.” While Thad Young and Khem Birch are both day-to-day due to knee injuries of varying severity, the loss of Porter is tough, given how often he has struggled to stay healthy.

Toronto Raptors SF Otto Porter Jr. has a hamstring injury.

Since the 2018 season, Porter has found it challenging to stay on the court. After missing 26 games that year due to an injury, Porter played in just 42 games during the following two seasons. Even during his rebirth with Golden State, he missed 19 regular season contests.

When he’s on the floor, Porter showed off a skillset that is absolutely perfect for what Toronto needs at this point in time. With a deadly 3-point shot, positional versatility, and the experience that a veteran brings from a championship team, the Porter signing was rightly heralded in the offseason.

If Porter’s absence extends into the early parts of the regular season, this could create a path for Juancho Hernangomez to get some extra playing time. While he won’t do much to replace Porter as a defender, Juancho could provide the scoring pop this team needs to survive without Porter.

The Raptors very rarely had all five of their starters on the floor last season, and it appears as though the injury bug is now taking chunks out of their bench. Porter should return to the lineup at some point in the relatively near future, but this is still a crushing blow to the team’s morale.

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