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Raptors rookie Valanciunas suffers mild left calf strain

Sep 24, 2012, 8:54 AM EDT

Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas (C) vies f Getty Images

Eyebrows were raised when photos surfaced of highly anticipated Toronto Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas wearing a walking boot.

The team confirmed Monday morning that he has a strained left calf. Via the Raptors official twitter account.

 

That fits with what the Toronto Sun reported, which was the Lithuanian big man was not using crutches and was putting weight on the foot. Those were good signs. Walking boots are pretty standard now for foot and ankle injuries in the NBA — team are cautious so guys get them for even relatively minor stuff.

It sounds like he will not miss much, if any, of training camp. Of course, for a rookie missing any part of camp is less than ideal.

Valanciunas, the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft, has become the face of hope in Toronto — they have some good other players but they need a big man in the middle (and he is 6’11”). After watching him in the Olympics he should help the Raptors defense almost immediately, but is offense was lagging. He played like the game was moving too fast for him, like he was a little overwhelmed. Expect there to be a real rookie learning curve. Give the kid a chance to grow.

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