Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas suffers neck injury

Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas suffered a neck injury during Tuesday’s victory against the Chicago Bulls and was taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to Steve Aschburner of NBA.com.

Valanciunas sustained the injury while reaching for a loose ball following a jump ball late in the game. He extended his arm for the ball – dropping his head – and banged directly into teammate Rudy Gay’s shoulder.

Following the collision, Valanciunas exited the contest and remained on the Raptors’ bench. He was checked for a neck injury and later fitted with a protective collar to stabilize the area. He was then taken to a nearby hospital as a precautionary measure.

Valanciunas has been progressing through his first season in the league, as the fifth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft was named the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month in March. He had scored in double figures in Toronto’s previous 12 games entering Tuesday. The Raptors don’t play again until Friday, and Valanciunas’ status for the contest isn’t known.

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