The Toronto Raptors cut the series deficit, 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday and according to NBA rumors they might be getting a starting center back Jonas Valanciunas in time for the crucial Game 4 on Monday.
Valanciunas’ status has been upgraded from “out” to “doubtful” for the Raptors-Cavaliers’ next game due to an ankle injury he suffered in the previous series against the Miami Heat, according to RealGM.
“Valanciunas did do some on-court work during Sunday’s practice, but it doesn’t sound like he’s progressed enough to be able to take the court for Game 4. We should have another update on his status following Monday morning’s shootaround, but it’s looking like Bismack Biyombo will again be the starting center for Toronto on Monday,” an injury report was posted on Sunday.
Jonas Valanciunas will be listed as doubtful (right ankle sprain) for Game 4. #rtz
— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) May 22, 2016
Even though it’s not yet sure that Valanciunas is returning to the Raptors line-up soon, the injury news is a positive one since Toronto needs another win at home against the Cavaliers featuring LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
Bismack Biyombo set the franchise record 26 rebounds last game but the Raptors could add another valuable big man in the rotation with Valanciunas’ possible comeback.
Valanciunas has played in 10 games in the 2016 NBA Playoffs averaging 15.0 points, 12.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He was the third leading scorer for the Raptors after stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry before he injured his ankle earlier in the postseason.
With the NBA rumors of the Lithuanian’s return for Game 4, the Raptors will have a great shot of tying the best-of-seven series, 2-2 before the East Finals returns to Cleveland for Game 5.