The Toronto Raptors have a huge hole to fill as starting forward Jared Sullinger will miss two to three months after undergoing foot surgery to alleviate asymptomatic stress reactions, according to a report by Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports.
The Ohio State product was bothered by the same foot last season, but chose therapy instead of surgery and was bound for more of the same this season if he didn't opt for surgery.
Sullinger will have a screw inserted into his foot as a precautionary measure, and while general manager Masai Ujiri indicated the big man could beat that two-to-three month timetable, it is unlikely — the bigger the person, the more time it takes for a foot to stabilize.
DeMarre Carroll and Patrick Patterson will be large beneficiaries in his absence, getting the bulk of minutes on the floor. Rookie Pascal Siakam will get the chance to start at power forward until Sullinger's return from injury.
Head coach Dwane Casey said he'll likely favor the veteran Patterson for their season opener Wednesday, but there would be a “back and forth” between the two big men, according to Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic.
Jared Sullinger is fresh off signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Raptors this offseason — his health will play a large part on him still being a part of the team by season's end.