* A bunch of injury news to come out of Thursday’s practice after Landry Fields (right hand), Kyle Lowry (right ankle) and Alan Anderson (left foot) all had second opinions on their respective injuries while the team was away in Indiana. Anderson saw doctors in Indiana, while Lowry and Fields went to New York.
* The biggest surprise of the day was finding out that Fields underwent ulnar transposition surgery on Wednesday to address compression and entrapment of his right elbow. The surgery was performed in New York and there is no timetable for his return to the court. He will be reassessed in two weeks time.
* Lowry will be sidelined for 1-2 weeks with a bruised cuboid bone in his right foot, sustained in the first half of the Raptors’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last week.
* Anderson has a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot and will be sidelined between 3-6 weeks.
* Of the three injured players, Fields was the only one to speak with the media. Of note: Dom McGuire is not with the team as he is back in Oakland tending to a family matter. The team does expect him to be available for Saturday’s game against the Boston Celtics. Linas Kleiza also sat out practice after tweaking an ankle against the Pacers Tuesday evening.
* It was pretty wild to hear Fields discuss his injury and explain how it had affected his shot and ability to handle the ball both physically and mentally. Starting in training camp, his ring and pinky fingers on his right hand would involuntarily clinch as he was trying to shoot or grab the basketball.
* While he tried to play through it and focus on correcting the problem during practice, it became more and more of a concern mentally as he couldn’t understand what was happening. Throughout training camp and practice sessions, Fields wore his frustration on his face when he would miss free throws and clang jumpers. That visible frustration makes more sense now.
* Here’s Fields on when he noticed it and his mode of thinking/why he didn’t tell trainers until after the Raptors’ loss in Dallas:
“Actually in training camp is when I first noticed it. Every time I’d go up to shoot, my hand would clinch like this (bends fingers) on the left side. I always distinguish something wrong with pain and there was no pain, it would just involuntarily do that and that’s when I first noticed it from that time until a week ago I’ve just been trying to play through it, just been trying to work around it, but I realized with game situations and practice when I have time to really focus on it, it just kind of does it on its own. Finally after the Dallas game I went to the trainers and said, ‘Hey something’s really wrong with my hand and we’ve got to get it figured out’. They did some testing on their own and determined there was some weaknesses there and we went to New York doctors to get a second opinion.”
* While Fields has drawn ire for his missed shots, blown layups and bobbled passes, listening to his description of what his hand was doing sheds light on his rough start to the season.
“I was shooting with coach Hughes one day and when I went up, my hand just went like this and I shot it and I’m like, ‘What the …’ for lack of better words and he was like, ‘What was that?’ and I said I didn’t know and ever since then my hand would want to squeeze the ball real tight every time I shot it. People were coming up to me asking what was going on with my shot and I had no idea. I was trying to work through it, keep my hands steady on the ball but my hand just wants to clinch every time I raise my hand up like that.”
* You had to feel for him, knowing the criticism he’s taken in the first few weeks of the season and also considering how much he internalizes everything. When asked if it was scary to not know what was going on, he acknowledged the relief in discovering there was an actual physical problem that could be repaired.
“Yes. Like I said earlier, when something is wrong you figure pain is involved. So that’s why I was thinking, ‘Is this mental?’ I’m actually fortunate and glad that it was a problem because if this had continued to go and nobody could explain it that would really mess me up mentally. I’m already a mental guy myself so I would have been on some kind of watch (laughs).”