Raps wait and see

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- The injury situation with the Raptors is so strange, not even head coach Sam Mitchell knows what's going on half of the time.

The Raptors have been plagued with numerous aches and pains throughout the pre-season, and Mitchell has been forced to juggle his lineup, often at the last minute -- as was the case last night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Mitchell informed the media just prior to the game that veteran forward Eric Williams would miss his seventh consecutive pre-season game because of sore right knee.

However, Williams jogged out on to the court with his teammates, ready to play his first game of pre-season and took a spot on the bench.

Sitting out last night's game were sophomore forwards Matt Bonner, with a right calf strain, and Pape Sow, who has missed the last five games with a strained right groin.

All of which makes Mitchell's life difficult, as he is attempting to get a handle on who will make up his rotation when the regular season begins on Nov.2 at the Air Canada Centre against the Washington Wizards.

"Yeah, that makes it hard," Mitchell said. "It's frustrating for me because I haven't had all the guys to do some of the things I've wanted to do. But we've got four or five good practice days before our opening night and a lot of stuff will be determined when we get to practice."

The Raptors currently are carrying 16 players, including training-camp invitees Corey Williams, a guard, and 6-foot-10, 280-pound forward Toree Morris. The club can carry 15 players, so there's a chance one of the two will make the cut. However, Raptors general manager Rob Babcock is scouring the NBA in an attempt to find a quality big man. Despite the fact that Rafael Araujo picked up 17 points and eight rebounds on Sunday night in a 87-83 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors still need help in the frontcourt. There's the hope that a quality NBA centre will become available as NBA teams make their final cuts prior to the start of the regular season.

Morris definitely has the size to play in the NBA, but has only played about 22 minutes in the pre-season, heading into last night's game. He's more of a project than someone who can help the team right now.


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