Raptors’ Valanciunas Hurts Neck, Taken To Hospital As Precaution

CHICAGO – A crucial jump ball went the Toronto Raptors’ way in the closing seconds of their 101-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls at United Center. But it came at a price for center Jonas Valanciunas.

The Toronto center went for the ball as it squirted out of the jump between teammate Rudy Gay and Bulls forward Carlos Boozer. But as he reached, dropping his head, he banged into Gay’s shoulder — hard.

The final 9.1 seconds ticked off without incident, but Valanciunas went straight to Toronto’s bench area and sat in one of the chairs. Various members of the team’s training and medical staff huddled around him. As they gingerly probed around his neck, it wasn’t initially clear if he might be checked for concussion symptoms. But no, this was what Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo called a “whiplash-like” injury.

Long after the final horn, as fans exited and cleanup crews began their work, Valanciunas was fitted with a protective collar and escorted from the court. He was taken to nearby Rush Presbyterian Hospital as a precaution and to undergo a more thorough exam.

The 6-foot-11 Valanciunas had eight points and three rebounds in 23:17 against Chicago, including a throwd-own slam that made it 93-85 with 5:13 left that temporarily slowed the Bulls’ comeback attempt.

The fifth pick in the 2011 Draft, Valanciunas has been finishing strong. He was named Eastern Conference rookie of the month in March and had scored in double figures in 12 straight games prior to Tuesday. Since the All-Star break, he had hit 57.9 percent of his field goal attempts and 82.8 percent of his free throws.

Valanciunas was kept overnight for observation at nearby Rush Presbyterian hospital while the rest of the Raptors headed home. Test results were pending. Toronto’s next game is Friday against the Bulls at Air Canada Centre.

26 Comments

  1. [...] See the original article here: Raptors' Valanciunas Hurts Neck, Taken To Hospital As Precaution … [...]

  2. JP says:

    Not a raptors fan but i like how he plays. get well soon.

  3. ben says:

    Just curious to see how many of you guys are from Toronto? I just want to see if JV is recognized outside of Toronto because he deserves to be. He is going to be HUGE in a year or two!!!!!!!

  4. Chicago Ken says:

    Never like to see a worthy adversary get hurt. Hope it isn’t significant, but neck is always a worry.

  5. Hope says:

    Get well soon Jonas!

    We will need you next season

  6. BigLuke says:

    Get well soon Big Fella. Love your game. Peace!!

  7. JV's biggest fan! says:

    This man is soo progessive, he will be one of the best centres in the nba after few years experience in nba! :)

  8. davids says:

    2012 draft.. Duh. Not 2011.

  9. [...] Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas suffered a neck injury against the Bulls. The big fella was kept overnight at a Chicago hospital. Per NBA.com: “A crucial jump ball went the Toronto Raptors’ way in [...]

  10. Sympathetic Possum says:

    Big part of the Raptors future

  11. Kev Love says:

    Raptors need a power forward and a real POINT GUARD. Kyle Lowry is ok defensively..offese

  12. [...] , Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls, Jonas Valanciunas, Rudy Gay, Steve Aschburner, Toronto Raptors / 3 Comments [...]

  13. T-RAWWWW says:

    RAPTORS WILL BE IN THE PLAYOFFS NEXT SEASON. WOOOOOOOOOO!

  14. Julius23 says:

    Get well soon bro..

  15. 4dawyn says:

    get well soon big guy. Work on your body this off season and get some muscle to bang with legit NBA bigs. And you know to avoid injury!

  16. Harper says:

    Gotta love those “throwd-owns,” but seriously I hope the kid is okay. He’s got a lot of heart and hustle. Something this team has been missing for a while.