NEW ORLEANS - The Toronto Raptors were without Jonas Valanciunas on Wednesday for their game in New Orleans against the Pelicans. Valanciunas, who left Tuesdays loss to the Hawks late in the third quarter with a lower back sprain, missed his first game of the season. Head coach Dwane Casey announced the news an hour and a half prior to tip-off. "His back is still tight," Casey said. "[He] wasnt able to get it loose. (Director of Sports Science) Alex (McKechnie) put him through some preliminary work and it still was tight so hes going to be out." Valanciunas sustained the injury turning to set a screen, feeling immediate pain in his lower back before McKechnie and the Raptors training staff made the call to pull him from the game. After navigating through a mini-slump to close the month of February, the Raptors sophomore centre had been playing some of his best basketball of the season over the past week. Getting off to hot starts in each of his last three games, Valanciunas has totalled 34 points on 14-of-20 shooting in the first quarter of those contests. The Raptors were already undermanned in the frontcourt, missing Patrick Patterson for a seventh straight game Wednesday. He is expected to be out at least another week resting an elbow injury. Tyler Hansbrough started in place of Valanciunas. Both he and Chuck Hayes will see increased playing time as long as the teams starting centre in sidelined. Amir Johnson also played against the Pelicans after tweaking a lingering right ankle injury at the end of regulation in Tuesdays overtime loss. "Weve been very fortunate not to have that many injuries up until this part of the season," said Casey. "A lot of teams had them earlier and its unfortunate were hitting them now but its part of the NBA. Now weve got to adjust to it and make hay from it." Valanciunas is considered day-to-day. Chris Doleman Super Bowl Jersey
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.Brady threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman midway through the fourth quarter, and New England beat the San Diego Chargers 23-14 for its eighth win in nine games.GLASGOW, Scotland - The Scottish Football Association has rejected an attempt by the owner of English Premier League team Newcastle to significantly increase his stake in financially stricken Rangers.Mike Ashley owns nearly 9 per cent of Rangers shares, and wanted to take his shareholding to 29.9 per cent.The SFA says in a statement released on Wednesday that it has been unanimously decided that Ashleyys application should not be granted, in order to safeguard the interests and public profile of association football, its players, spectators, and others involved with the game.ddddddddddddAshley, who recently handed the club a loan of 3 million pounds ($4.7 million), faces a hearing on Jan. 27 which will determine whether his dual interests in Rangers and Newcastle breaches SFA rules. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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