Minor injuries starting to mount

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

ST. CATHARINES -- The Raptors are keeping trainer Greg Spratt busy during training camp.

Two more players were forced to be spectators yesterday. Forward Aaron Williams missed the traditional open-to-the-public scrimmage with a left ankle sprain, while Pape Sow left the court limping after only three minutes of playing time with a groin injury.

Sow said he was fine after the game and his injury does not appear serious.

Forward Eric Williams, coming off arthroscopic knee surgery this summer, and point guard Alvin Williams, who missed all of last season with chronic knee problems, also did not play yesterday. Newly acquired point guard Mike James, who had a groin problem earlier in the week, did play and scored 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting.

SHAKY START

Oft-criticized centre Rafael Araujo settled down as the scrimmage went along, but the team's first-round pick from last year struggled badly out of the gate.

Araujo, coming off a disappointing rookie season, had his first shot blocked by the much-smaller Matt Bonner and fired an airball on his second attempt. Players with two years of duty or less are eligible to be sent to the Raptors' minor-league outpost in Arkansas, so it's up to Araujo to prove he belongs in the NBA.

COACH'S CORNER

Coach Sam Mitchell made a point of not talking about individual players in his media session yesterday.

"My whole thing is not trying to key in on one or two guys," he said. "It's just a team thing, what we're doing offensively, what we're doing defensively and are we rebounding as a team."

Speaking of defence, Mitchell appreciated his players' efforts without the ball yesterday.

"I like our defence," he said. "It's getting a little bit better. We've still got a long way to go. (But) it seemed like we made some strides. We're at least talking. We called out some wrong things sometimes, but at least we were talking. That's an improvement."


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