Zo placed on the IL

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 1:09 PM ET

There's finally some movement on the Alonzo Mourning front, although nothing to get excited about. The Raptors yesterday placed rookie centre Rafael Araujo on the active roster and Mourning on the injured list with right knee tendinitis -- meaning that Araujo will get some playing time in aid of his overall development.

Araujo was placed on the injured list Dec. 17, basically because the Raptors had too many guys on the active roster when Vince Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets for Mourning, a centre, forward Eric Williams and swingman Aaron Williams. Araujo was officially listed as suffering from a lower back strain.

Mourning has not been with the Raptors since the trade because of injury. He is eligible to return to the active roster for the Sunday, Jan. 9 contest versus the Golden State Warriors. Toronto GM Rob Babcock said he is willing to give the NBA all-star more time to heal. In 18 games this season, Mourning is averaging 10.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.28 blocks and 25.4 minutes.

HEY MO

Forward Morris Peterson has been starting in place of Carter at small forward and the fifth-year Raptor plans to make the most of it, although he struggled in Toronto's 106-94 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, shooting 2-for-10 with five points.

"This is a big opportunity for me, Peterson said. "It's an opportunity to show people what I can do, show them that I can be a starter in this league. I take it as being a challenge. Being a starter in the NBA, there's only 29 other starters (at each position) in this league, and that's a big accomplishment. What I want to do is not take it for granted. I'm going to take full advantage."

Peterson added that, as the longest-serving active Raptor, he has to step up in the leadership department. The Raptors had two days off before Christmas and Peterson, who has been watching his diet since last season, worked out at the ACC on both days.

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