The Toronto Raptors are waiting to see whether they’ve dodged a bullet or been hit by one straight-on.
Kyle Lowry left their Monday night win against the Brooklyn Nets during the overtime period after injuring his back while going up for a rebound. The sequence itself did not look pretty. Lowry landed square on his back, hard, and after laying down for a beat he tried to get up and walk off the floor on his own accord.
It didn’t work.
Lowry lost his balance more than once and, ultimately, needed to be carried off the court by Lucas Nogueira and Jonas Valanciunas while showing obvious signs of immense pain. Here’s a video of the incident:
Ugh. This Kyle Lowry fall looked horrible. Hope it's not too serious. pic.twitter.com/hdjzohe7Db
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) January 9, 2018
On the bright side for the Raptors, though Lowry didn’t return, he was in high enough spirits after the game to joke about the diagnostic process, per The Athletic’s Eric Koreen:
Lowry being wheeled out for tests. He just yelled "x-ray on my ass."
— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) January 9, 2018
Initial tests revealed that Lowry suffered an “acute back spasm,” and it’s unclear whether he’ll miss any time, according to the Raptors:
Toronto's Kyle Lowry sustained an acute back spasm tonight at BKN. He will be reevaluated tomorrow. @Raptors
— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) January 9, 2018
Bet on Lowry taking off for at least a game or two, if not more, as a result of this injury. The Raptors are in the perfect position to play this safe. They have a three-game hold on the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Monday night loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and they’re far deeper than they’ve been in years past. DeMar DeRozan has shown he can anchor net-plus lineups on his own, according to NBA.com, while the duo of Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright has provided sneaky-good value in the backcourt as part of bench-mob lineups.
At the bare minimum, it would be a legitimate shock to see Lowry play against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. I’m no doctor, but the gravity of that fall, coupled with the immediate aftermath, seems to guarantee he’ll need more than one night’s worth of recuperation.