The 2017-18 Toronto Raptors being a healthy group lasted all of three halves.
Late in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Jonas Valanciunas got tangled up with Dario Saric and was fouled on a defensive rebound, rolling his ankle in the process. He stayed on the floor for a few seconds and was then helped up before limping to the free-throw line to shoot his free throws. After another possession, he checked out and headed to the locker room.
The Raptors announced at halftime that Valanciunas has a sprained left ankle and will not return.
This is a bit of an opportunity for Jakob Poeltl and perhaps Lucas Nogueira to take advantage of some longer run, and head coach Dwane Casey could also open things up a bit and slide Serge Ibaka to the five for an extra wing. Nogueira is starting the second half, his first minutes of the season.
Whatever the case, it’s a disappointing turn for Valanciunas, who’s off to a solid start to his season. He had five points and four rebounds in 15 minutes before exiting.
UPDATE: Valanciunas is set to undergo an MRI on his left foot and ankle, per Casey. Nogueira played extremely well filling in, but they’d obviously prefer to be at full health as they set out on a six-game trip. We’ll update when the MRI results are released.