Raptors' DeMar DeRozan sidelined indefinitely with leg injury
Officially, Derozan sustained a torn left adductor longus tendon during Toronto's 106-102 home loss to Dallas on Friday. USA Today Sports reports that DeRozan might be able to return within four weeks.
The injury occurred with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the third quarter and Dallas leading 56-45. As he drove to the hoop going right, DeRozan slipped to the floor while attempting to apply the brakes. He immediately left for the locker room and did not return, departing with zero points (on 0-for-8 shooting) and four rebounds in 20 minutes. DeRozan was initially diagnosed with a left groin strain.
DeRozan, 25, is Toronto's leading scorer, averaging 19.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists. An attack-minded shooting guard, DeRozan was selected to his first All-Star Game last season on his way to averaging a career-high 22.7 points per game for the 2013-14 season. During his six-year career, DeRozan has been sidelined for just 11 games.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey will need to rely more heavily upon third-year wing Terrence Ross, a 2012 lottery pick who is averaging 10.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Reserve guards Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez should also see their minutes increase, as Casey looks to fill DeRozan's team-high 33.6 minutes per game. Combo forward James Johnson could also help fill in the gaps at small forward.
"Lou has done both [starting and coming off the bench]," Casey told reporters on Saturday. "He's very capable of doing both. I'm very comfortable with him at the [point guard] or the [off guard]. He's a very versatile player, a very smart player. He could be a prime candidate for [starting]."
The loss of DeRozan is a tough blow for the 13-3 Raptors, who are enjoying a franchise-best start and currently possess the East's best record. Toronto will begin a three-game road trip on Sunday against the Lakers.