The Raptors mascot will be sidelined for the season after rupturing his Achilles. (Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Opening night is three weeks away, yet the Raptors have already suffered a season-altering injury.
Prior to Toronto's preseason home opener, news broke from the Toronto Star's Doug Smith that The Raptor, the team's mascot for the past 19 years, had blown out his Achilles and would miss the entire 2013-14 season.
“My daughter cried,” coach Dwane Casey said of the news.
This is not the first time the Raptors mascot has had trouble staying upright on the job.
The team also had a bad night, losing to the Timberwolves 101-89 despite a team-high 17 points from DeMar DeRozan on only seven shots from the field.
The paper declined to identify the individual inside the mascot suit, and it was unclear if the team would sign a replacement Raptor for the season ahead.