Rudy Gay dismissed rumors he'll be shut down for the season. (Kent Smith/Getty Images)
It was only a few days ago that Toronto Raptors small forward Rudy Gay looked to be in store for an early end to the season. According to the Toronto Sun, head coach Dwane Casey said on Saturday that there would likely be a conversation about whether to shut down Gay for the season because of lingering back issues.
But Gay addressed those rumors this week, dismissing the idea that Casey might be having a conversation to consider whether ending his season is the right way to go. In a report from Mike Ganter of The Toronto Sun, Gay said there's only one way he'll be shut down for the rest of this season:
“That’s just talk. That’s just talk.The only way I’m going to get shut down is if the doctors tell me I need to stop playing, I’ve been forced out before and that’s not something I look forward to again.”
It wouldn't be an idea too far fetched; the Raptors, currently in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 26-44 record, are out of playoff contention, so it's entirely possibly Toronto's front office and medical staff look at it from a long term perspective and keep him from potentially exacerbating the back problems.
But Casey clarified those rumors, too, saying Gay's back is better and his status will be "day-to-day" moving forward as he works through rehab. Since the trade from the Grizzlies, Gay has increased his production in almost all categories, except for minutes played, so it's unclear if the back has worsened in recent weeks as a result of his role with a new team. He is currently averaging 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 36 minutes per game this season.