Newspaper article The Canadian Press

After Difficult Year, Raptors' DeMarre Carroll Hoping Injury Woes Are Behind Him

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

After Difficult Year, Raptors' DeMarre Carroll Hoping Injury Woes Are Behind Him

Article excerpt

Carroll hoping injury woes are behind him

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BURNABY, B.C. - DeMarre Carroll is ready to start over.

A prized free-agent acquisition of the Toronto Raptors two summers ago, Carroll suffered through a trying first year with his new team in 2015-16 where he played just 26 regular-season games because of a right knee ailment that had to be surgically repaired in January.

The small forward worked hard to rejoin the club in time for Toronto's run to the NBA's Eastern Conference finals, but wasn't the same player the Raptors signed to be difference-maker from the Atlanta Hawks.

And while not yet 100 per cent after a month of rest followed by a strenuous summer of rehabilitation, Carroll is looking forward to hitting the reset button.

"I look at it as basically my first season (with Toronto)," the 30-year-old said as the Raptors opened training camp this week. "A new season, a new beginning. I've just got to come in and get back to playing DeMarre Carroll basketball when I'm healthy."

Apart from locking up DeMar DeRozan to a long-term contract extension and bringing in Jared Sullinger, the Raptors had a relatively quiet break.

However, finally having a healthy Carroll would be a major bonus for a club looking to take the next step.

"A big difference," said DeRozan. "It was tough for us last year to figure out ways to play without him. Even when he was playing early on he was hurt (and) even when came back he wasn't his full self and we still managed to make history.

"To have him back at the start of camp, start of pre-season, to be able to implement him fully is going to give us everything that we've been searching for."

The six-foot-eight, 215-pound Carroll only returned to the court for live action last week, and said his off-season regimen included making sure all the proper steps were taken to ensure his knee is ready for the season. …

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