Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas has thumb surgery, to miss at least 4 weeks

Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas is slated to miss at least four weeks after suffering a dislocated left thumb.

According to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, Valanciunas underwent surgery on the injury, and his condition will be updated when the cast comes off in four weeks.

Valanciunas suffered the injury during Wednesday’s 113-93 win over the Golden State Warriors.

The 26-year-old big man has been a significant part of Toronto’s success this season, as he is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 57.5 percent from the field.

Valanciunas played just eight minutes before leaving Wednesday’s game, but he was having a major impact with six points and seven rebounds.

While Valanciunas has been more effective than ever on a per-minute basis this season, he has taken on a different role.

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After starting in each of his six NBA seasons, he has made just 10 starts in 30 games this season. He is also playing a career-low 18.8 minutes per game.

Toronto’s starting frontcourt has primarily been comprised of veteran Serge Ibaka and third-year Pascal Siakam.

Both Ibaka and Siakam are in line for even more usage, while veteran center Greg Monroe figures to take on the bulk of Valanciunas’ minutes until he is able to return.

While Monroe was a constant double-double threat during his time with the Detroit Pistons, he is averaging just 3.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this season in 13 appearances.

At 23-7, the Raptors have built up a 3.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed, which gives them some margin for error while Valanciunas is out.

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