PHILADELPHIA — The Toronto Raptors will probably be with out All-Star level guard Fred VanVleet for Sport 5 of their first spherical collection towards the Philadelphia 76ers — and certain longer — with a left hip flexor pressure.
“You’ll be able to cease holding your breath,” VanVleet stated with a wry smile after plopping himself down right into a courtside seat right here at Wells Fargo Heart previous to Toronto’s shootaround Monday morning. “I’m out tonight. I used to be in a position to get an MRI … nothing too main, however undoubtedly exhibiting only a hip flexor pressure.
“So I’ll be out tonight, form of take it day-to-day and go from there.”
When requested if he would be capable of return in Sport 6, VanVleet, who stated the damage occurred when he made a defensive slide within the first quarter of Sport 4, sounded pessimistic, as a substitute saying he’d really feel “nice” about being again for the beginning of a possible Japanese Convention semifinal collection.
The one downside with that? Toronto enters Sport 5 down 3-1 within the collection, and having been down 3-0 earlier than profitable Sport 4 – a deficit no workforce has overcome in NBA historical past.
“I don’t know. I actually don’t know,” VanVleet stated of his potential standing for Sport 6. “I’m all the time gonna go away that window open. , it’s not a kind of issues the place I’m out for 4 weeks. In all probability take a while. Hopefully we are able to lengthen this factor and I might be feeling nice about perhaps enjoying in subsequent spherical.
“I do know no person believes we are able to [win this series], however I feel we are able to. So I’ll be ok with that. However I’m gonna keep constructive and get as a lot rehab as I can and restoration and take a day at a time.”
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VanVleet was clearly hobbling all through the primary half of Saturday afternoon’s Sport 4 earlier than he dedicated a take foul with 4:57 to go within the second quarter, ripped his jersey in half and hobbled off the courtroom inside Scotiabank Enviornment, by no means to return to the bench.
He went and received an MRI later Saturday that exposed the hip flexor pressure, however nothing worse. VanVleet admitted the ripping of the jersey in frustration was a mixture of not with the ability to proceed enjoying, and worrying imaging would present some actual injury to his hip.
“In all probability each. I imply, I feel I wasn’t frightened that I would wish surgical procedure or something, however I knew I wasn’t coming again. And to be in a state of affairs with this workforce and having been hobbled a bit of bit already form of like … you understand is coming in in some unspecified time in the future and also you simply making an attempt to go till you possibly can’t go anymore. However extra so simply being within the second eager to be on the market with the fellows preventing, making an attempt to get a win.”
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VanVleet, who made his first All-Star look this season, has been coping with nagging knee points for the previous couple of months, and he stated the hip flexor problem is one thing he’s managed at instances all through the season, as nicely. This time, nevertheless, was far worse than earlier bouts with it.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse sympathized along with his star guard, saying it’s been clear VanVleet, who’s taking pictures 35 p.c from the sphere and 33 p.c from 3 by means of the primary 4 video games of this collection, hasn’t been himself.
“I feel it’s been a troublesome 12 months on him,” Nurse stated. “I feel it’s been a troublesome 12 months on him.
“I imply, pay attention, he was, even earlier than this, I feel everyone may see he was laboring a bit, proper? So, I don’t know. I imply, I don’t assume this one’s gonna final eternally, and I hope that it could possibly assist, perhaps different issues, too, you understand, whereas he’s out he can get perhaps these touched up a bit of bit, too and eliminate a few of these different bumps and bruises and issues.”
In the meantime, the Raptors nonetheless have a recreation to play. Nurse stated that Rookie of the Yr Scottie Barnes, who returned from his personal damage, a sprained left ankle, in Sport 4, will deal with the ball so much, like he did in beginning the second half of Sport 4 on the level in VanVleet’s absence, with Pascal Siakam additionally selecting up among the slack left by VanVleet being compelled to the bench.
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For his half, VanVleet stated he’ll be locked into making an attempt to assist his teammates all through the day Monday, joking he could even put on one of many polo shirts Nurse’s teaching workers wears through the recreation. However, general, he stated he’s making an attempt to be as constructive concerning the state of affairs as he will be.
“It’s nonetheless one thing gratifying about, you understand, simply laying it on the road in your teammates, you understand, in your brothers within the locker room, figuring out that you simply’re not 100 [percent],” VanVleet stated. “My physique lastly simply tapped out, so right here we’re.”