Toronto Raptors star center Andrea Bargnani has taken his basketball game to new heights this year, but injuries are now holding him back from making a significant imprint on the NBA. After re-injuring his left calf during the team's overtime win in Utah on Wednesday night, rumors had already started to swirl that he would miss some time, including Friday night's game against the Denver Nuggets. Now ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that an MRI revealed no significant damage to Bargnani's calf, but that the team has ruled their starting center out indefinitely anyways.
Bargnani himself called the injury "much worse" than the first calf injury he suffered, which forced him to miss six games earlier this season, but the whole situation is just an unfortunate turn of events for a player who finally started to live up to his draft status as the No. 1 overall pick. He returned two games ago for the Raptors and scored 27 of his 36 points in the second half to them beat the Phoenix Suns and snap a six-game losing streak, but couldn't make it through the next win over the Utah Jazz.
Through 13 games in the 2011-12 NBA season, Bargnani is averaging career highs in field goal percentage (47.6), free throw attempts (6.4), free throw percentage (84.3), rebounds per game (6.3), assists per game (2.1) and points per game (23.5). Suffice it to say the Denver Nuggets are fortunate to meet the Toronto Raptors without him on Friday night.