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Report: Fred VanVleet out for Game 5 vs. Wizards

Fred VanVleet

For Wednesday night’s pivotal Game 5 between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards at Air Canada Centre, the Raptors will officially be without key reserve guard Fred VanVleet due to a nagging shoulder injury.

The news was first announced on Twitter by Raptors beat reporter Blake Murphy of The Athletic.

VanVleet has missed all but three minutes of the Raptors first-round series against the Wizards and his contributions from off the bench have been sorely missed.

This has to be a frustrating blow for VanVleet, who recently spoke to Murphy about his desire to finally get back on the court for the Raptors.

“You’re gonna have to cut my arm off to get me to not feel like I can play,” VanVleet said.

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey also opened up about VanVleet’s absence.

“Yeah, he was tentative. It was just too tentative and just felt like we had to get him out and let him rest a little bit more, just see where he was. Just wasn’t ready. He’s courageous, he wants to play, he’s trying to play, he’s a tough kid, but you know, mother nature’s just telling him to take his time and let it heal a little bit more,” coach Casey said.

Toronto, who has now lost two straight games on the road to let the Wizards tie the series up at 2-2, will look to stop the bleeding tonight and regain control of this first-round series.