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Raptors Valanciunas hurts neck, taken to hospital after game

Apr 10, 2013, 10:12 AM EDT

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In recent weeks, the Raptors have seen a lot of progress out of young center Jonas Valanciunas — he came into this season in Toronto with a lot of hype but proved to be a work in progress. But last month he was the Eastern Conference Rookie of the month with a double-double in 12 straight games. And he’s still improving nightly.

Which is why the end of Tuesday’s game was frightening.

Rudy Gay and Carlos Boozer had a jump ball with 9.1 seconds left and Valanciunas went hard for the loose ball after the tap, his head hitting Gay’s shoulder. Hard.

Valanciunas went to the bench where treated by team doctors, and while you might have thought it was a concussion they were worried about it was more of a whiplash like injury, reports Steve Aschburner at NBA.com.

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.

Doesn’t look like anything long-term serious, but serious enough he had to go to the hospital.

Hopefully he is back fully healthy — next year he could be part of a renaissance up in Toronto with the Raptors.

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