Though the Toronto Raptors cruised through the regular season to earn the second spot in the Eastern Conference, the team is already facing some early adversity ahead of the playoffs.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, second-year forward OG Anunoby could be sidelined until the Conference Finals. Anunoby underwent an emergency appendectomy Thursday after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis.
While the appendicitis did require an operation that will keep Anunoby out of action for weeks, the ailment often doesn’t come with any long-term ramifications. The Indiana product should be good to go once he returns, though it’s not a sure thing Toronto will still be in the running once he’s fully healthy.
The Raptors are set to take on the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs with Game 1 coming Saturday. Anunoby will be sidelined for at least the entirety of their series against Orlando and perhaps through their second-round series as well if they advance.
This will be a major blow to Toronto’s depth and bench production for a second unit that is one of the best in the NBA and one of the Raptors’ primary strengths. Anunoby provided consistent athleticism and energy off the bench in the 67 games he was active for this year, averaging 7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in just over 20 minutes of playing time.