Raptors pair could sit

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

The injury bug has taken a big bite out of the Houston Rockets, but the nasty pest has not forgotten about the Raptors.

Toronto rookies Charlie Villanueva (left calf contusion) and Jose Calderon (right heel bruise) are questionable for the road game tonight against the Rockets, who are missing six players to injury, including star centre Yao Ming (toe).

Villanueva, who missed the first game of his NBA career Monday night in Orlando against the Magic took part in a light practice yesterday and said he is about "65 or 60%." Calderon, who has missed the past two, did not practise.

Villanueva, who didn't make his final decision to sit out Monday until about an hour before game time, said his Raptors counterparts didn't give me an easy ride.

"They were busting my chops a little bit," he said. "I got it from every direction. From managers, coaches, players, trainers.

"(But) I'm listening to my body. My body (was saying) no I can't go so I'm not going to force the issue ... I feel like if I would have been out there, I would have hurt the team."

TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY

Jalen Rose had his first good game in quite some time Monday night, scoring 15 points in 35 minutes a 92-90 win over the Magic. But he doesn't figure to have quite that much floor time when Villanueva and Calderon return.

"We've made a dedicated youth movement and probably those minutes will be deducted once those guys come back," he said. "But it did feel good to be out there and have an opportunity to contribute."

Raptors star Chris Bosh enjoyed having Rose on the floor in crunch time.

"(Rose) didn't surprise me," he said. "I always knew Jalen could play. He could sit out as many games (as he wants) and still be effective. He never loses a step because he comes and practises hard every day. He just has great talent."


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