Palacio to return

Steve Buffery -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

Raptors point guard Milt Palacio was back with the team yesterday after missing the last two games because of personal problems. Palacio was sorely missed, as starting point Rafer Alston had to log considerable minutes against Miami on Sunday (48 minutes) and Denver on Friday (45). The Raptors have also been without veteran point Alvin Williams, who underwent knee surgery earlier this month and could be lost for the season. He was hobbling around Raptors practice on crutches yesterday.

Palacio said yesterday that his mom has been ill.

"You have to put things into perspective and go out there and play. That's what I have to concentrate on," he said. "I'm just glad to be back to help my team out."

TALK ISN'T CHEAP

Veteran forward/guard Jalen Rose admitted yesterday that all the trade talk that has been swirling around Raptorland has taken a psychological toil.

Vince Carter is expected to be shipped out as soon as GM Rob Babcock can get the right guys in return, and Rose as also been mentioned in a number of trade scenarios. Rose said players linked to trade talks are often teased, good-naturedly, by their teammates.

"Players are real knowledgeable (of what's being said)," Rose said. "More knowledgeable than you guys think."

ANXIOUS TO PLAY

There's been talk that head coach Sam Mitchell may shake up his starting rotation, which has lagged in recent games.

One player who has been mentioned as a likely starter is Donyell Marshall, who is playing well after returning from an hamstring injury two weeks ago.

Marshall wouldn't mind giving it a try.

"The best thing about starting is you're able to get warmer a little faster and you're able to make a couple of mistakes, because the game is just being started," he said. "Everybody wants to start, but I think the most important time of the game is at the end, and that's when I really want to be in there."


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