MIAMI: Britain’s Luol Deng, a key playmaker for the Miami Heat, was declared questionable by the NBA club on Thursday for Friday’s (Saturday in Manila) crucial home playoff matchup against the Toronto Raptors.
The 31-year-old Sudanese-born forward underwent an MRI exam that revealed no fracture in showing the extent of the injury, which was suffered in Wednesday’s 99-91 loss at Toronto.
That result gave the Canadian club a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. The winner will face the Cleveland Cavaliers to decide a berth in next month’s NBA Finals.
Miami center Hassan Whiteside, the team’s top playoff rebounder with 10.9 a game, remains unlikely to play after missing the past two games due to a sprained ligament in his right knee.
Deng ranks second for the Heat in playoff rebounds with 6.1 a contest in addition to 14.3 points, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals. In the regular season, Deng averaged 12.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists for the Southeast division champions.
Deng played from 2004-2014 with the Chicago Bulls before being traded to Cleveland. He signed with the Heat in July of 2014 after LeBron James left Miami to return to the Cavaliers.