Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told Kayla Grey of TSN Sports (Twitter link) that he would return Wednesday at San Antonio, saying he’s feeling good. Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports later confirmed VanVleet’s return to action (via Twitter). He finished with 26 points and six boards in Toronto’s 119-104 win.
The All-Star point guard had missed the past five games with a right knee contusion, which he’s been dealing with since before the All-Star break. VanVleet is averaging 21.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.9 APG and 1.6 SPG on .415/.398/.876 (.568 true) shooting this season. He leads the league in minutes played at 38.2 per contest.
The Raptors have gone 5-7 in VanVleet’s absence this season, including 2-3 over the past five games. Toronto is currently 35-30, the No. 7 seed in the East.
Here are some more injury-related updates from around the NBA:
- Knicks rookie Quentin Grimes suffered a partially dislocated right knee on February 25, but he’s staring to ramp up towards a return to the court, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “He’s moving around, he’s getting closer, coming along nicely,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s a phenomenal worker, and you gotta give him a lot of credit. He’s a fierce competitor. [Contact] will be the next step, but [he is] doing everything else. So far there’s no issues.” A source tells Berman the Knicks will be cautious with Grimes, but Berman speculates the guard could return in about 10 days given his progress.
- Appearing on the Burns and Gambo radio show, Suns general manager James Jones said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Frank Kaminsky return before the regular season ends, John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Phoenix tweets. Kaminsky suffered a stress reaction in his right knee in November which later required surgery. He was set to be reevaluated at the beginning of March, so presumably that evaluation yielded positive results. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
- Heat swingman Caleb Martin suffered a left knee injury in Wednesday’s 111-90 loss to Phoenix, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter links). Martin left the game early alongside Miami’s orthopedic specialist and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest. Martin is having a nice season for the Heat, averaging 9.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.0 SPG on .520/.396/.756 shooting through 51 games (23.1 MPG). He was promoted from a two-way contract to a standard deal last month.
- Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Brook Lopez will travel with the team for the upcoming West Coast road trip. Lopez was cleared for full contact five-on-five practices last Friday. “We’ll just continue to evaluate and see how he’s doing with the 5-on-5 and he’s making good progress and just hope that continues,” Budenholzer said, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link). Lopez has played just one game this season after suffering a bulging disc in his lower back which required surgery, but it appears he’s getting close to returning for the defending champs.