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Injury update: Malachi Flynn suffers fractured cheekbone

Third-year PG expected to return for regular season opener.

NBA: Preseason-Utah Jazz at Toronto Raptors Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors point guard Malachi Flynn has undergone a procedure to repair a fractured left cheekbone — an injury he suffered in the third quarter of the team’s win against the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

The Raptors expect Flynn to return to the court “before the start of the regular season,” which means he may have the opportunity to appear in a later preseason game, or at least get some more practice time in before the October 19 season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When he does return, Flynn will be in a facemask for an unspecified amount of time.

Flynn is about to start his third season in the NBA; the first two have been primarily inconsistent, with Flynn showing flashes, but also being glued to the bench for long stretches. Defensive lapses and an odd inability to knock down open looks (despite excellent shooting form) have definitely hindered his growth.

Still, Flynn had an incredible summer, lighting up pro-am games, which may have been the confidence booster he needs to make his mark this year. He looked solid enough on Sunday, scoring 8 points on 5 shots in 18 minutes — thought the opponent was the hapless Jazz, and Flynn somehow managed to avoid picking up a single rebound or assist in those 19 minutes.

But the Raptors sure could use a solid 12-15 point guard minutes a night from the bench, to give Fred VanVleet some rest. VanVleet playing a zillion regular season minutes and breaking down again isn’t something the team wants to see.

Flynn also underwent examination by the team’s doctors following the injury, and cleared concussion protocol.