Some pretty damning words are getting hurled the Toronto Raptors’ way from here on The Continent regarding Linas Kleiza’s devastating and prolonged injury.
Talk Basket today maintains, through a couple of sources well-placed with the Raps, that Kleiza’s extended time on the disabled list is due almost entirely to the incompetence of the team’s medical staff who reportedly did not listen to their Lithuanian star as he complained of injury.
Local news media Sport24 of Greece, last season’s home for Kleiza as he played for Olympiacos, broke the story which Talk Basket later translated in part, explaining:
“[Kleiza] had been complaining to Raptors’ medical team for the past two months about excruciating pain in his right knee. The team’s doctors ignored his pleas and insisted that it was nothing to worry about and that he should continue training at 100% and just go through some routine therapies until the pain is gone.
“Kleiza, having no other choice, listened to the doctors and continued training – and playing – at his 100%, having no idea the deterioration his knee was receiving, day by day. Needless to mention that the pain kept growing and at the same his performance started diminishing. Two weeks ago, and after having had just enough of his team medical’s team criminal neglect, Kleiza made up his mind and told Raptors that he refused to play until the pain is completely gone.”
This, in turn, caused a rather extreme reaction from team officials.
Taking a look at the record, it seems that indeed Kleiza’s performance began dropped off right around December 1. While the Raptor did manage his only games of over 20 points in December (26 against the Denver Nuggets on 11-of-16 shooting; 24 against the Los Angeles Lakers on 11-of-21; 22 against the Memphis Grizzlies on 10-of-16), he produced a number of poor performances in the month, bottoming out in the loss to the New York Knicks.
Talk Basket maintains that, tomfoolery-wise, the Raptors “did the exact same to Jorge Garbajosa” and fans may recall that Hedo Turkoglu leveled some bizarre charges against Toronto management and medical staff in Turkey back in May.
Sheesh, if these allegations have any truth to them, the Raptors may soon stop enticing Euroballers … Euraptors no more?