The Toronto Raptors will be without top scorer and leading rebounder Andrea Bargnani for Friday night’s home game against the Indiana Pacers.
The 7-footer strained his left calf during Wednesday’s 98-91 loss to the Sacramento Kings.
“It’s a big loss right now,” Raptors guard Leandro Barbosa said Friday morning following shootaround at the Air Canada Centre. “He’s been playing like an all-star. He’s an all-star for me. We’ve a lot of respect for the job he’s doing for us.
“But everybody’s going to step in and do a little bit of everything so we can get those victories until he gets back.”
The Brazilian said that Bargnani is sad that he won’t be on the court for the Raptors for a couple of weeks although the club is not putting any timeline on the power forward’s return.
“Right now he’s day to day,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Doctors haven’t had a chance to analyze the MRIs as of yet. Probably won’t go tonight. After that he’s going to be day to day.”
When told that Barbosa said that Bargnani would be out two weeks, Casey laughed.
“I’m glad he’s got his medical degree,” the coach said jokingly. “I’m sure it’s from Sau Paulo University. I haven’t heard that. It’s news to me.”
Bargnani has been Toronto’s top performer this season, leading the team in both scoring (22.3 points per game) and rebounding (6.5) and his absence, for whatever length of time, will be a blow to a fragile team.
“Big shoes to fill, but everybody wants playing time and unfortunately one man doesn’t stop the show,” Casey said. “As much as we need Andrea we still got to have other guys to step up.”