To the surprise of no one, Jorge Garbajosa's season is over and it's going to be at least six months before he hits the floor again.
Anyone who saw Monday's game on television or the highlights and certainly anyone who was at Boston's TD Banknorth Arena and heard the Raps starting small forward scream in agony after he fell awkwardly trying to block an Al Jefferson shot knew the injury was serious.
Garbajosa spent a very restless Monday night in a Boston hospital before he was flown back to Toronto on a private jet along with Marc Eversley, the Raps director of basketball operations who stayed with the Spanish national member overnight in Boston. He underwent surgery yesterday afternoon.
The surgery to repair a displaced left ankle joint with ligament tear and a fractured fibula was performed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Johnny Lau with assistance from Raps medical director Dr. Paul Marks.
"We are pleased with the reduction of the fracture and restoration of the displaced ankle joint," Marks said in a prepared statement. "Everything is restored to an appropriate anatomic position, and we will now await post-operative recovery and healing of the soft tissue and the fracture."
Garbajosa's injury is the second serious setback for the soon-to-be playoff bound Raptors in less than a week. Last Wednesday, the Raptors awoke to news that their other rookie sensation, Andrea Bargnani, had underwent overnight emergency surgery to have his appendix removed.
From GM Bryan Colangelo to head coach Sam Mitchell the message yesterday from Raptors practice was the team will adapt to life without Garbajosa the same way they adapted to life without Chris Bosh for 12 games earlier this year, life without T.J. Ford for five games in January and life without Bargnani for the past few games.
"What else are we going to do? Mitchell asked. "Are we supposed to fold our tents, quit and go home? We didn't do that when Chris was out. We haven't done that with Andrea out. We didn't do that when T.J. was hurt so we're not going to do it now."
Colangelo said he fully expects his club to find its way through this latest curve the injury gods have dealt them.
"We've got a deep team, a talented team and a team that is built on character," Colangelo said. "Character goes a long way toward overcoming these situations. I think we've got a group of guys that truly want to succeed and we've got a group in there that is committed to try to overcome this."
Mitchell said it will not be one guy who inherits Garbajosa's minutes, but a cast of Raptors who will share those minutes.
"It will be by committee but we're going to need all of them," Mitchell said. "Who plays will depend on whom we are playing."
This committee will undoubtedly be made up of Morris Peterson, Joey Graham, Kris Humphries, newcomer Luke Jackson, and Juan Dixon.
If the Raptors decide to start Dixon in the backcourt, Anthony Parker would move from the off-guard position to small forward. The obvious drawback to the Raptors going small will be on defence.
There is also the very good chance that Bargnani, once he has recovered from his appendectomy, would eventually assume the majority of Garbajosa's minutes.
"The guys who will play the majority of the minutes will be the guys who come in with the energy and defence and rebounding and hustle," Mitchell said. "I don't really care who it is."