The Toronto Raptors are not going to do anything to risk OG Anunoby’s future.
Could the 23-year-old Anunoby fight through his left calf strain and potentially help the Raptors sneak into the play-in picture? Maybe. But considering he’s not 100% these days, Toronto is taking a cautious approach to their young star.
“I think we want him to play and we want him to get as many minutes and reps as he can handle,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Tuesday. “Again, it is a little concerning.
“I think probably we’re being a little bit, a little bit cautious because we don’t want it to turn into a six-week thing or an eight-week thing.”
Nurse said he had a conversation with Raptors physiotherapist Alex McKechnie about Anunoby’s availability and the two decided it’s best to give him a little bit more time off to ensure he’s ready to go when he returns with little risk of injury.
“He needs whatever time to continue this upward development process,” Nurse said. “That includes the offseason. Right? He’s really locked in and geared in right now on his game and we don’t want a setback there.”
Anunoby’s been battling this calf injury since late January and Toronto has been very careful with him. Between the injury and COVID-19 issues, he’s played in just 26 of Toronto’s last 48 games.
The Raptors have not discussed shutting Anunoby down for the season, Nurse said.