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Raptors’ Marc Gasol and Fred VanVleet out vs. Jazz

FredVan Vleet, Marc Gasol

The Toronto Raptors will be short-handed for their matchup with the Utah Jazz on Monday. Both Fred VanVleet and Marc Gasol will both sit out. Injury management on the second leg of a back-to-back is being cited as a factor in the decision—at least for Gasol—according to Raptors reporter Blake Murphy of the Athletic.

On Sunday night, Nick Nurse’s boys needed a resilient fourth quarter to stave off the frisky Sacramento Kings, 118-113. Gasol scored three points (1-3 FG) in 16 minutes off the bench in his first game back from a hamstring injury which has kept him sidelined since Jan. 28. He’s appeared in just 36 games overall this year, averaging 7.6 points and 6.3 boards per game. It’ll be interesting to see when the 35-year old center is re-inserted into the starting lineup.

VanVleet is making a conscious effort to not rush back from his shoulder ailment that his kept him out for the past five games. VanVleet is having a career season ahead of free agency. He’s put up 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game while dependably bringing his typical toughness and clutch play.

It’s understandable that Toronto would be extra-cautious with two of their most important contributors. Despite the injuries, the Raptors (45-18) have won their previous three contests.