Garbo passes first test

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

The Toronto Raptors will have forward Jorge Garbajosa undergo another series of tests on his injured left leg this week.

Fresh off helping to lead Spain to the gold-medal game at the European championships on Sunday (a heartbreaking 60-59 loss to Russia), Garbajosa has been directed to have the leg examined and evaluated again -- even though he managed to get through the tournament without seemingly aggravating the injury. Late last season Garbajosa fractured his left fibula and tore ligaments in his left ankle after an awkward fall in Boston.

MORE TESTS COMING

After being tested by team doctors this summer in Toronto, the Raptors recommended that Garbajosa undergo surgery to further repair the damaged fibula, but the second-year NBA forward opted for a second opinion from Spanish team physicians and elected to undergo physical therapy and play for Spain at the European championships -- after the Spanish federation purchased an ultra-expensive insurance policy. Still, his decision did not sit well with Raptors officials.

"You can't force anyone to have surgery," Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo said yesterday. "He opted for the (physical therapy) and basketball option."

With the Raptors training camp beginning in two weeks in Treviso, Italy, there still is concern that Garbajosa may need surgery to further repair the damaged fibula, but the club won't know for sure until further tests are conducted this week in his native Spain.

"We will have multiple images and scans taken to see what his situation is," Colangelo said. "And you can be assured over the next three-month evaluation and analysis period, if he feels any kind of pain at the fracture site, or any other kind of setback, we will undertake something quickly."

Colangelo said the Raptors will bring Garbajosa back to Toronto for further evaluation if they are not satisfied with the testing in Spain, or would even consider sending team medical director and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Marks to Europe to further analyze the test results.

Garbajosa, a national team favourite in basketball-mad Spain, averaged 7.8 points, 21 minutes and 3.1 rebounds in nine games at the European championships and Colangelo admitted that there was a sense of relief that Toronto's starting small forward managed to get through the tournament without a further medical crisis.

"He had what I would call a decent performance in Spain," said the Raptors GM. "Certainly, he did not move like he moved last year and he did not play like he did last year, but that's probably expected given that he was out for five months. There was also probably some physical apprehension on his part and also some rust in his game, and certainly conditioning was a factor. But, when we get over there (to training camp) we will take a look at him and evaluate him (further)."

Needless to say, if doctors in Spain or Toronto believe Garbajosa needs surgery, the club would like it done as soon as possible, so he can return to the team as quickly as possible.

Raptors backup point guard Jose Calderon had a very good tournament for the Spanish team, averaging 12.3 points and 24.9 minutes, he also shot 56% from the floor, second best in the tournament. Forward Andrea Bargnani finished 12th overall at the championships in points, averaging 12.7 per game for the Italian side. Centre Rasho Nesterovic, playing for Slovenia, finished sixth in rebounds, averaging 7.6.


Videos

Photos