By Frank Zicarelli
VINCE WON'T RUSH THINGS
Vince Carter can only watch and offer encouragement for his decimated Raptors as a spectator.
With Carter at least out for a minimum of five games after he was placed on the injured list on Friday, the franchise player said he won't return until he's totally healthy.
In the past, Carter rushed back from injury in hopes of trying to help the Raptors. Instead, Carter hurt the team because he wasn't playing to his full ability.
"It's still swollen, so I'm just going to wait,'' Carter said of his sprained left ankle. "I'm not going to go in and out of lineups, in and out of games, because of a tweak to an injury.
"I'm going to wait and when I'm ready, I'm going to go. I'll be back when it's time. I don't care if it's two to six weeks. When I feel good I'm going -- plain and simple."
CURRY GETS SOME ELBOW ROOM
Michael Curry says he's feeling better but admits his right elbow, which required surgery last month, is 55% healthy.
"The good thing is I feel better and I'm able to sleep without my hand going numb,'' Curry said. "I'll get the strength back."
Curry believes his shot has suffered the past 1 1/2 seasons because of the lingering discomfort in his elbow. Against the New Jersey Nets on Friday, Curry made four of six shots.
The Raptors can use any kind of offence but it's Curry's defence that they absolutely must get each night in helping set the tone for the rest of the team.
"I try not to be in a (defensive) position where I get beat,'' Curry said. "I can protect my elbow (when he puts a hand into an opponent) and there is pain at times. But I'm not damaging the arm."
Curry might get a start in today's matinee against the Sacramento Kings.
A BUILDING BLOCK FOR BRADLEY
There was no pain but plenty of gain, as far as Michael Bradley was concerned.
Bradley made his season debut on Friday after being inactive for the year because of a knee injury.
"There's no swelling and when I woke up (yesterday) I felt great,'' Bradley said. "All the signs are positive."
Bradley played 10 minutes against the Nets and produced five rebounds.
"I was anxious and excited all day,'' Bradley said. "I thought I was calm during the game. I can now build from there."