Toronto Raptors backup point guard Fred VanVleet will miss approximately five weeks as the ligament damage he suffered in his left thumb requires surgery, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 13, 2019
Jeremy Lin has officially signed with the Raptors and will play as the backup point guard tonight and until VanVleet returns. Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out of that contest due to left knee soreness and so has Patrick McCaw who will sit due to a sore right shoulder.
After the initial press release on Monday that confirmed VanVleet would miss at least three weeks, this puts more of a fixed timeline (still not definitive) as the first case would have still required an assessment of where he’s at after wearing splint and then gauging the time he would need to get his hand comfortable for game action.
As mentioned in the previous report on the injury, the blow to his thumb is believed to have been sustained in the second quarter of the Raptors’ win over the Knicks in New York on Saturday, after which he still played in the second half.
VanVleet will certainly miss the entire six-game homestand the Raptors are currently on, and perhaps be in line for Toronto’s back-to-back against the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks on March 17 and 18. If unable to return by then, that’s followed by a home-and-home series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 20 and 22.
This is the latest in an assortment of injuries the 24-year-old has had to deal with this season, with toe, shoulder and back issues causing problems for him prior to this latest thumb issue.