Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is being considered doubtful to play in Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers, the team said Wednesday, as he continues to deal with a left hip flexor strain that kept him out of Game 5 as well.
The injury took place in the first quarter of Game 4, when VanVleet made a lateral slide on defence and felt what he described as "a little pop" in his hip. He finished the first quarter but, after subbing back in, struggled to move effectively. VanVleet took a foul to sub himself out at the 4:57 mark of the second quarter and tore his jersey in frustration as he left the floor and headed to the locker room. He has not played since.
Hip flexors are the collection of muscles and tendons that facilitate lifting the knee towards the body, and are susceptible to being strained -- a tearing in the muscles -- if they are overused, which can significantly impact a person's mobility.
In VanVleet's absence, the Raptors managed to prolong their first-round series against Philadelphia, spurring hope that they could become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit.
With very little consistent guard depth, the Raptors will lean on the likes of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. -- all of whom played at least 39 minutes in Game 5 -- to supplement the team's need for offensive facilitators.
VanVleet has averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 assists and three rebounds per game in Toronto's first-round playoff series.