As the Toronto Raptors prepare for their much-anticipated Round 2 clash with the Boston Celtics, the single biggest unknown looming over them is the health of Kyle Lowry.
While no official word has been given on if Lowry, who suffered a left ankle sprain in Toronto’s series-clinching win against the Brooklyn Nets, will be available to play, Sportsnet analyst Alvin Williams is optimistic.
“I actually talked to Kyle this morning and he was feeling — he didn’t say he was feeling good, but he was like ‘I’m alright.’ You know Kyle, ‘I’m alright, I’ll be ready to go.’ So that was the biggest thing,” Williams said during a Monday appearance on Sportsnet Central. “We all know Kyle and how he gets down and, you know, his pedigree and that drive, his pain tolerance — all those things that makes him a champion and the player he is.
“So I’m 99.9 per cent sure he’ll be ready to play, as he expressed when I talked to him earlier today.”
Lowry, as Williams noted, has played through injuries before. The 34-year-old suffered damaged ligaments in his left thumb during the Eastern Conference semifinals last year, but didn’t miss a game of Toronto’s historic championship run.
Ankle injuries are different from thumb injuries of course, and earlier on Monday the Raptors announced that there was no timetable for Lowry’s return, while clarifying that his injury was indeed to his ankle — as opposed to earlier concerns raised by head coach Nick Nurse that it may be an issue with the arch of Lowry’s foot.
Lowry averaged 19.4 points, a team-high 7.5 assists and five rebounds through 58 games with Toronto this season. Through the first round of the playoffs, he posted averages of 12.5 points, 4.8 assists and 7.0 rebounds and scored in double figures three times, including 21 points in Game 2 of the opening-round series.
Once the second round begins, games will take place every other day, with Game 2 going on Saturday.