Fred Van Vleet already listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s game

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TORONTO, ON – MAY 07: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball as Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defends in the second half of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: […]

One wonders if the three minutes that Fred Van Vleet played in game three of the Raptors-Wizards playoff series will be all that we’ll see of the Rockford native in these playoffs.

Monday morning the Raptors already listed Van Vleet as doubtful for game five Wednesday because of his injured shoulder.

When Van Vleet first injured his right shoulder during the final game of the regular season the injury was considered to be nothing more than a painful bruise. Now reports indicate that the shoulder is separated. If true that’s an injury that could take up to six weeks to heal completely.

Van Vleet told reports Sunday that he can deal with the pain but the range and strength in his shoulder are restricted making it difficult to do the basic things that a point guard needs to do….pass, dribble and fight through screens. If he plays again and that shoulder gets bumped again it could become reinjured setting Van Vleet back even further.

Without Van Vleet’s steady leadership off the bench the Raptors’ second unit has had a notable drop off in production in the playoffs. The Raptors, the number one seed in the East, now find themselves tied at two games apiece with the Wizards who are the eighth seed.

Van Vleet is receiving treatments twice a day on his shoulder from a portable ultrasound unit that is supposed to help repair the tissue. Meanwhile Van Vleet says he’ll try to stay ready just in case.

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