Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet suffered a nasty looking injury during the fourth quarter of his team’s win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Friday night, but will be ready to go for Game 5 — albeit while wearing a mouthguard to prevent any more injuries to his teeth. Via ESPN:
“I hate wearing mouthpieces,” VanVleet said. “You know, I’m a gambler, so I gambled and sometimes it comes back to bite you on the butt. But all kids out there, you should wear mouthpieces.
“It was a weird play, and I took an unfortunate shot. And so now I will be wearing a mouthpiece for as long as I can manage it. I’ll probably throw it at some point during the game, but I’m going to try.”
VanVleet went down hard in the fourth quarter of Game 4 after taking an accidental elbow to the face from Shaun Livingston following a shot attempt. By the time he landed and rolled over onto his back, blood was already streaming down his face.
If that wasn’t enough, a piece of one of VanVleet’s tooth was also captured lying in the middle of the paint on the Oracle Arena court.
Thankfully, VanVleet did not sustain a concussion, and in more good news for the Raptors’ supersub, Drake jokingly offered to handle the costs of whatever dental procedure VanVleet needed to endure following his injury.