Raps' injuries taking a toll

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Alvin Williams might have company in the Raptors clinic for injured point guards.

On a day when general manager Rob Babcock confirmed Williams (knee) would start the season on the injured list, fellow point guard Milt Palacio missed most of an open practice yesterday at the Air Canada Centre to receive treatment on a leg.

With Rafer Alston starting at the point and Williams and Palacio on the limp, Roger Mason Jr. could be in line for the backup job. Mason certainly seems safe heading into the final roster deadline today at 6 p.m.

"(Williams) is going to be on the injured list. There is no question," Babcock said. "We have a couple of other players who are banged up and we have to determine (their status)."

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell played down Palacio's injury.

"(Palacio) just banged knees with somebody, that's all," Mitchell said.

The Raptors are carrying 15 players and can have 12 on the active roster and three on the injured list, but some teams like to have open roster spots.

Mitchell has expressed his desire to keep all 15, but that does not sound like a sure thing.

Forwards Pape Sow and Matt Bonner, both with non-guaranteed contracts, probably will be a bit nervous today.

"It's going to be tough because we've got some guys who deserve (to be on the roster)," Mitchell said. "But that's the business. Our job is to make the best decisions for the team and the franchise and that's what we're going to try to do."

Williams, meanwhile, plans to see another doctor before deciding whether to have surgery. That decision could come this week.

"(Williams) possesses all the experience, character and toughness, leadership and things you really need out there," Babcock said. "He's such a great guy and he's really hurting because he wants to be out there so bad."

The Raptors play their season opener Wednesday against the Houston Rockets at the Air Canada Centre and Babcock seems more than content with the real games about to begin.

"We've got a long ways to go, but I'm very pleased with the development of our players so far and I'm really happy with the staff," he said. "I've been around this league a long time and this is, top to bottom, the best staff I've been involved with."

Marquee player Vince Carter, meanwhile, will return to court today in Columbia, S.C., as he defends himself against a $14-million US lawsuit filed by his former agent and convicted felon William (Tank) Black.

Carter has no idea when the proceedings will end.


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