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In Street Clothes

Covering sports injuries from the perspective of a certified athletic trainer and backed by analytics.

Toronto Raptors


The Toronto Raptors have become a perennial Eastern Conference contender winning 50 games in back-to-back seasons. The team had hoped to return to the Eastern Conference Finals but were swept by the Cavaliers. All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry was in street clothes for the final two games of the series after spraining his left ankle.

Lowry’s health was an issue during the regular season as he missed 21 games in February and March with a wrist injury that ultimately required surgery. The injury was a setback for a sports medicine team that has ranked as one the top five staffs in the league over the past five seasons. Extended layoffs for Jared Sullinger and Delon Wright also elevated the Raptors’ injury totals.

Head athletic trainer Scott McCullough and Director of Sports Science Alex McKechnie once again minimized muscle-related injuries, an area in which the group has exceled in recent seasons. Their success has earned them the confidence from a front office that opted to draft OG Anunoby despite a torn ACL suffered while at Indiana. The team assumed a large part of his rehab and the rookie forward returned to action during the preseason.

With Lowry and Serge Ibaka resigned, the Raptors will enter the year with their core intact and ready to resume their quest for Eastern Conference supremacy.  A return to elite form for their training staff should help improve their chances.

3 thoughts on “Toronto Raptors”
  1. […] in the NBA, successfully building on the momentum generated during last year’s playoff run. The success of the team’s medical staff is a major reason for the team’s ascension up the Eastern Conference standings. Now the value of […]

  2. […] While the Pacers and Thunder have shown signs of improvement, the same can’t be said for the Lakers. The team has already lost three players to season-ending injuries, insuring a high injury total for the third straight season. Veteran point guard Steve Nash was ruled out for the year before the season even started and promising rookie Julius Randle fractured his leg in his professional debut. Xavier Henry joined the list when he ruptured his Achilles in practice. All three injuries were difficult to prevent but it’s worth wondering where the team would be if they had retained Alex McKechnie. McKechnie spent eight seasons as the team’s athletic performance coordinator and was lauded for his work with preventative care and movement integration. The Lakers opted not to renew his contract in the summer of 2011 and the team has since been decimated by injury. McKechnie has subsequently taken over as the Director of Sports Science for the Raptors and helped turn their medical staff into one of the most successful in the league. […]

  3. […] for this season, but the Raptors only missed 68 games due to injury in total last season, the lowest total in the league. This season, by this obscure metric that combines games missed and […]

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