By Ben Golliver
The Raptors announced Wednesday that forward/center Andrea Bargnani, the subject of fan frustration and trade murmurs, is out indefinitely after tearing a ligament in his right elbow during a Monday night loss to the Blazers in Portland. The National Post reports that the injury can carry a one-to-two month recovery timeline although it's not yet known exactly how long Bargnani will be sidelined.
The injury occurred as Bargnani attacked the basket from the left wing. Blazers guard/forward Sasha Pavlovic stepped in to take a charge and Bargnani crashed hard to the floor, landing on his right (shooting) elbow. He immediately departed to the locker room and underwent an X-ray, which was negative, and did not return.
Bargnani, 27, is averaging 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting just 39.8 percent in 32.8 minutes per game for the Raptors. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Bargnani is Toronto's second-leading scorer.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey moved reserve forward Ed Davis into Bargnani's place during Wednesday night's loss to the Nets. Forward Amir Johnson was not available for the game because he was serving a one-game suspension for throwing his mouthguard at an official during the loss to Portland. Both Davis -- averaging 16 minutes a night -- and Johnson -- averaging 20 -- should see their playing time pick up during Bargnani's absence. The injury represents an opportunity for Davis, in particular, and comes after some observers have wondered whether Casey should decrease Bargnani's role because of his poor shooting, lack of energy and dismal rebounding numbers and the Raptors' struggles this season.
The Raptors lost to the Nets 94-88 on Wednesday marking their sixth consecutive loss and their 12th loss in 13 games. Toronto is now 4-19 on the season.