Bosh's break a damn shame

STEVE SIMMONS, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:41 PM ET

The face of the Raptors franchise is broken. And maybe soon, the face will be gone.

No one will come out and say it absolutely, but it appears obvious that Chris Bosh is done for the rest of the regular season.

Maybe done completely as a Raptor.

The inadvertent collision with the Cavaliers’ Antawn Jamison’s elbow broke Bosh’s face and who knows yet how badly it will injure the Raptors as they meander their way toward the National Basketball Association playoffs.

This is another horrible break for a team that can’t seem to shoot straight. Before Tuesday night’s game in Cleveland, Bosh was the face of the franchise: Now he’s an unfortunate piece of almost inappropriate symbolism.

The future, whatever it holds, is almost certain without Bosh. That appears to be the sentiment around the NBA. It just wasn’t supposed to happen. And this way.

The elbow that came from almost nowhere — Jamison reached for a pass that wasn’t intended for him — left Bosh with a displaced nasal fracture, a non-displaced maxilla fracture and a right side of the face ready to audition for horror films. In English, that’s a broken nose and a fractured cheekbone and there was concern there might be retinal trouble, vision problems and other areas of the face affected. Dr. Paul Marks basically said Bosh was lucky he only needed one kind of surgery. It could have been worse, Kermit Washington worse.

But truly so much of this is unknown. How quickly he will heal. How he will feel. Whether he’ll be ready in four days or seven days or 10 days — he’ll be checked and re-checked regularly through that time frame — but no one, not anyone, is saying he will play another regular-season game. Assuming the Raptors make the playoffs, and they’ll likely need to win two of their final four games to do so, there is no assurance Bosh will be ready to go.

Maybe, he’ll re-appear in Cleveland for Game 1 or 2 of the playoffs.

Maybe, he’ll return in Toronto for either Game 3 or 4.

There won’t be a Game 5 — and there is no way of knowing if Bosh will be out a week, two weeks, the rest of the season and playoffs.

“I know what you guys know,” coach Jay Triano said. “Don’t think there is any timeline.”

There is a timeline on the Raptors season and on whether Bosh returns to the team. Maybe, like Tomas Kaberle the other night, he too, has played his last game in Toronto. Seven seasons of Bosh and the more than 10,000 points later and the Raptors continue to spin their wheels. They are neither here nor there. He has scored more than 20 points almost every night and led in rebounds and has been the closest thing this city has seen to an all-star since Vince Carter lost interest, but the Raptors grew up with him, just never found their way around him.

This season, they lost their way long before Bosh lost his season. And assuming this is it for Bosh, if not for the season and the playoffs, then likely for the summer, watching the Raptors without him is no glimpse of the future. Yes, this is the Raptors without Bosh and while the bench jockeys like Sonny Weems seem better prepared to grab the mantle than the overpaid Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu are, this isn’t next year. General manager Bryan Colangelo promises this is not what the Raptors will look like next season.

“A lot of things will play out between now and he start of training camp,” Colangelo said. He is talking about a possible sign and trade. He is talking about whatever comes his way in free agency. He is talking about finding a new address for some that certainly could benefit from the change.

He is planning for a team with Bosh and without Bosh — just like the rest of this season going nowhere.

steve.simmons@sunmedia.ca


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