by James Jia
TORONTO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Raptors guard-forward Landry Fields returned to the starting lineup with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the team's 90-72 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night in NBA action.
The start was Fields' first since suffering an injury to his right elbow, resulting in ulnar nerve transposition surgery on November 14, 2012. Prior to the injury, Fields had started the first five games of the season.
In total, Fields missed 23 games due to the injury and did not see any action until December 26, 2012. Following six games of coming off the bench, Fields was the benefactor of lineup shuffle prior to tonight's game and replaced guard-forward Mickael Pietrus.
Fields took full advantage of the start and played a game-high 42:28 minutes, his highest since February 6, 2012 when he was still with the Knicks.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was content with the effort from Fields.
"He did exactly what we needed: he gave us energy and was running the floor," said Casey during the post-game press conference. "I thought his defence was pretty solid. He ended up with eleven rebounds. That gave us a big boost."
Fields was happy with his performance and believes his confidence is growing since the surgery.
"It was good. I didn't feel too winded out there, it was good to get that many minutes," said Fields after the game. "When I get out there, I don't have to think about my elbow and get to play free and comfortable. In turn, that builds my confidence."
The 3-year veteran credits his trainers and teammates on bringing him back to where he is today, a starter.
"At times, it could be very frustrating. It's tough to trust what the trainers are trying to tell you. They've done a wonderful job, my teammates have been there to pick me up and I'm very grateful for all of them," said Fields.
Fields began his career with the New York Knicks as a 39 overall pick in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft. The product of Stanford University had a stellar rookie season and was selected to the NBA all-rookie team in the 2010-11 season.
Fields is perhaps most famously known for letting teammate Jeremy Lin sleep on his couch before the phenomenon known as Linsanity occurred last season.
Following two seasons with the Knicks, Fields became a restricted free agent, meaning he was free to sign an offer sheet with any team, but ultimately, the Knicks had a chance to match the offer and keep him.
On July 11, 2012, Toronto signed him to a three-year offer sheet for what is believed to be worth $20 million (USD). The Knicks failed to match this offer and Fields was a Raptor four days later.