One more visit to doc

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

Raptors guard Alvin Williams has visited more doctors this fall than a pharmaceutical salesman, and he still has one more visit to make before he decides whether surgery is needed on his sore right knee.

The longest-serving Raptor will consult with Dr. Richard Steadman, in Vail, Colo., one more time before deciding on a course of action for the knee.

Whether he has surgery or not, it appears that Williams will not see action for some time to come, possibly the entire season.

Williams has been with the team at practice this week, but the knee is too sore to play.

"Everyday life, lifting weights and conditioning, it doesn't bother me," Williams said. "It may swell up, but it doesn't hurt. But on the court, after 15 or 20 minutes, the pain doesn't settle down."

BIG GUYS

Raptors centre Loren Woods will jump from the frying pan into the fire tonight.

In Wednesday's impressive home-opening victory against the Houston Rockets, the lanky centre guarded 7-foot-6 centre Yao Ming, and the first year Raptor, who stands 7-foot-2, 260-pounds, did a good job.

But tonight, against the defending NBA champion Detroit Pistons, he'll face rebound and defensive machine Ben Wallace.

"Yao's a load, but Ben's a load (and) he's quicker, athletic and he's scoring now," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "They're a great team (but) we feel like we can compete with anybody if we do the things we're supposed to do."

BIG EGO

The people who look after angst-filled teen pop star Avril Lavigne went ballistic yesterday when a Toronto Sun reporter and photographer had the audacity to appear in her presence and actually look over at her. Angry calls were made to the Raptors and Lavigne's people calmed down only when assured that no photos of her majesty were taken. Lavigne played the ACC last night ... Rogers Sportsnet drew 199,000 for Wednesday's home opener, 21% higher than last season's opening night.


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