After suffering a dislocated left thumb during Wednesday night’s win over Golden State, Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas underwent surgery today at Stanford Medical Center, the team announced in a press release.
Valanciunas, who had his thumb relocated and the damage caused by the dislocation repaired, will remain in a cast for four weeks and will be re-evaluated at that point, according to the Raptors. In other words, it sounds like the veteran big man will miss at least the next month and will likely remain on the shelf beyond that.
It’s a tough loss for the Raptors, who have an NBA-best 23-7 record. Although Valanciunas had been primarily coming off the bench, he was playing a key role for the club, splitting minutes at the five with Serge Ibaka.
In Valanciunas’ absence, Ibaka may see a slight uptick in minutes. Greg Monroe, who has been out of Toronto’s rotation for most of the season, figures to play a more regular role too, while Pascal Siakam could also see some action at center in smaller lineups.
The Raptors have an open spot on their 15-man roster if they want to sign another frontcourt player. For now though, they’ll probably just rely on two-way player Chris Boucher for added depth up front. Boucher has been putting up huge numbers for Toronto’s G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, averaging 29 PPG and 11.6 RPG in 14 games. He scored 47 points on Wednesday.