Raptors’ Anunoby has appendectomy; no timetable for return

<p>
              Toronto Raptors' OG Anunoby shoots next to Minnesota Timberwolves' Anthony Tolliver during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Minneapolis. Toronto won 120-100. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
            </p>

TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby had an emergency appendectomy two days before his team begins the playoffs.

There is no timetable for his return, although the 6-foot-8 forward is expected to miss at least the first round. The Raptors open at home Saturday against the Orlando Magic.

Anunoby was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and had surgery Thursday night at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“My first thought is what a bad break for him, just bizarre timing,” coach Nick Nurse said after practice Friday. “And it doesn’t even happen on the basketball court or have anything to do with it.”

The 21-year-old player is in his second season. He averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 20.2 minutes in 67 games.

“He’s just kind of a Swiss knife, he can give you a lot of stuff defensively, offensively,” center Marc Gasol said.

Anunoby missed 15 games this season, sitting out eight early games for personal reasons. He also missed three games with a sprained wrist and four recently with concussion-like symptoms.

“He’s had a difficult year,” Nurse said. “But in the past 10 to 12 days, I feel like he was in a really good space.”

The Raptors had the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. Nurse is not yet sure how he’ll adjust his lineup.

“This is a team with a lot of size, and OG is one of our size and length guys,” the coach said. “So obviously we’re going to miss him.”