Shutting Down Andrea Bargnani the Right Move for Toronto Raptors

Holly MacKenzieNBA Lead BloggerApril 13, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 24:  Andrea Bargnani #7 of the Toronto Raptors drives around Joakim Noah #13  of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 24, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Rators 102-101 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors are seven games away from closing the chapter on the 2011-2012 NBA season.

Unfortunately, they'll be doing so without Andrea Bargnani.

On Friday afternoon, as reported by the National Post, the Raptors organization announced that Bargnani will miss the rest of the regular season.

The Raptors forward will be shut down for the season’s final seven games, starting Friday against Boston, because of the third occurrence of a strained left calf this year. On Friday morning, head coach Dwane Casey said the team’s management was scheduled to have a meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss Bargnani’s fate. Bargnani had diagnostic testing — public relations-speak for a hastily arranged MRI — on Thursday afternoon.

The team did not disclose the results of yesterday's diagnostic testing, but said that he would be out for the rest of the season, "based on tests taken yesterday on his left calf and the reoccurrence of previous symptoms."

This makes sense.

At this point in the season, with his team sitting at 20-39, there's no point in having him on the floor when he's not 100 percent healthy. After a brilliant start to the season—the best in his six-year career—a left calf strain sidelined Bargnani for 26 games. There's no reason to have him on the floor, or even available if the calf is still giving him trouble.

Regardless of your thoughts on tanking, playing it safe when it comes to injuries this late in the season is the smart thing to do. The Raptors can now continue ambling toward the finish line in a season that's been a bit of a waiting game since it began. With each game down, the team is closer to Jonas Valanciunas being in a Raptors uniform. With each added loss, the potential for another exciting young player to be added to that mix increases as well.

If you have injured guys and you're not in the playoff race, sit them. If nothing else, the youth on your team will appreciate the opportunity to show what they've got.