Nick Nurse provides positive injury update on Scottie Barnes

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With the Toronto Raptors on the verge of playoff elimination, the team could get a key player back in the lineup for Game 4 on Saturday versus the Philadelphia 76ers.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said on Wednesday prior to Game 3 that rookie Scottie Barnes is progressing well from a sprained left ankle. He said at shootaround early in the day that Barnes could “maybe” play but the fourth pick was eventually a late scratch from the lineup.

Barnes suffered a sprained left ankle late in Game 1 on Saturday when Joel Embiid appeared to step on his foot in the fourth quarter. He initially thought the injury was severe but the X-rays on his foot were negative. He has since ditched the walking boot he was seen in on Monday.

Nurse anticipates that Barnes will be ready to play in Game 4.

He is pretty good. He has been able to do some things but not to the level of letting him go tonight but it is still very encouraging. I would certainly assume he’ll be ready for the next one (on Saturday).

Without Barnes, Toronto has fallen to the brink of elimination.

The Raptors led the Sixers in Game 3 by as many as 17 points in the first half. However, Joel Embiid scored 18 of his 33 points in the third quarter to get Philly to within one point. He later hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left in overtime to send the Sixers to the 104-101 win.

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Barnes has emerged as a key player for the Raptors this season and is among the favorites to win Rookie of the Year. The Raptors have greatly missed him in the lineup and are certainly hopeful he can return on Saturday with their season on the line.

Game 4 is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. EDT on TNT.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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