Alvin hopes to earn extra time

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

Now that he has returned to the NBA playing court, Alvin Williams wants to take another big step.

The Raptors point guard, who made his pre-season debut with the Raptors for five minutes on Wednesday after missing all of last season following microfracture (right) knee surgery, hopes to increase his playing time tonight against the Boston Celtics at the Air Canada Centre.

"I'm going to try to go a little more," Williams said. "It depends on what the doctors say. I think I'm definitely going to push to play both halves (tonight) at some point. Just try to do more every game and every day. But try not to rush it too much, also. I don't want any setbacks, especially leading into the season."

Williams practised and participated in half-court drills yesterday, but stayed out of the full-court scrimmages. He said his knee felt pretty good

"I had my first bump on it, actually. I had a knee bump with Robert Pack," Williams said. "Other than that, it was pretty good. It was all right. I got a little contact. It's part of basketball and that can happen at any point of the game."

Williams, who admitted he didn't sleep much Wednesday night after the excitement of his return, will continue to loosen up on a stationary bike just before he enters games to try to get his knee ready for the pounding.

"This is all trial and error," he said.

Meanwhile, rookie forward Joey Graham is expected to return tonight after missing the past three games because of left knee tendinitis.

"(Graham's playing time) is just going to depend on conditioning, foul trouble and plus, how his knee feels," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "Because it's the pre-season, you want to get the young guys as much time as possible. But you also don't want to get them hurt."

Mitchell said forward Eric Williams, who has missed the entire pre-season while recovering from off-season arthroscopic knee surgery, is making good progress, though he will not play tonight.

The game against the Celtics is the Raptors' final pre-season home date.


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