BROOKLYN - Raptors' iron man DeMar DeRozan will miss his first game in nearly two years when Toronto faces the Brooklyn Nets in an important Atlantic Division showdown on Monday.
DeRozan, who did not make the trip to Brooklyn, sprained his left foot/ankle in Saturday's loss to the Clippers.
X-rays were negative but there is no timetable for his return.
The Raptors' leading scorer sustained the injury early in the second quarter after coming down on the foot of Hedo Turkoglu. Slow to get up, DeRozan stayed in the game for just under seven minutes, also starting the third quarter before he hobbled to the locker room and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest.
"He wanted to see if he could go, but he couldn't," Dwane Casey said following Saturday's loss. "He tried, but just couldn't get going."
DeRozan hadn't seen the play when he spoke to the media after the game and couldn't say whether or not the defender had malicious intent. He and Turkoglu exchanged words on the court shortly after the injury occurred.
"He was asking me what happened," said the Raptors' guard. "Whether I was alright, and if I thought he came under me or not."
Since the Raptors selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, DeRozan has missed eight games in four-and-a-half seasons and just three since his rookie year.
Seventh in the NBA in minutes played, DeRozan is averaging career-bests 21.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists this season.
Already missing Landry Fields, who underwent a surgical procedure on his wrist last week, the Raptors will be shorthanded at the wing positions for however long DeRozan is out. With John Salmons playing through a sore back, it's unlikely the 34-year-old will be able to absorb DeRozan's minutes. Casey will undoubtedly lean on sophomore Terrence Ross, coming off a remarkable 51-point career game.
DeRozan's injury could create an opportunity for Steve Novak to find his way back into the rotation and Greivis Vasquez may see more time in the backcourt alongside Kyle Lowry, depending on the matchup.
Patrick Patterson made the trip to Brooklyn and is expected to play Monday after taking a Blake Griffin elbow to the face and breaking his nose on Saturday. Tyler Hansbrough, who has missed 13 straight games with an ankle injury, is also with the team and will be a game-time decision.