Raptors' VanVleet leaves scrimmage with banged left knee

Arun Srinivasan
Fred VanVleet left Sunday's scrimmage against the Portland Trail Blazers and will not return. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet left Sunday’s scrimmage against the Portland Trail Blazers with what the team described as a “banged left knee” and did not return.

VanVleet grabbed his knee and went to the locker immediately after a knee-on-knee collision with Portland’s Anfernee Simons. However, he returned to the bench shortly thereafter and was mostly in a jovial mood as he chatted with teammates.

Head coach Nick Nurse said after the game that he doesn’t think VanVleet’s injury is too serious, but that there was no sense in jeopardizing his health in a meaningless scrimmage.

It would be a devastating loss for the Raptors if VanVleet missed significant time, with the team holding a three-game lead over the Boston Celtics for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. VanVleet averaged 17.8 points and 6.6 assists per game prior to the NBA’s pause and continued to feature as an excellent on-ball defender for the Raptors.

VanVleet is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, where he’s expected to be one of the most sought-after players on the open market.

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