Hoffa may forego surgery

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

Rafael Araujo may not be going under the knife after all.

The second-year Raptors centre, who speculated last week he could be on the verge of undergoing a season-ending scope on his injured right shoulder, is leaning toward trying to play through pain, his agent said.

"We're hoping to avoid the surgery," Diron Ohanian said. "The best way to put it is the doctor says he's 80%, which makes for a very, very tough decision. (Araujo) really wants to tough it out and at the end of the day, it's going to be Hoffa's decision."

Ohanian said Araujo will make a final decision within a day or two. Coach Sam Mitchell hinted Araujo, who has been out since Feb. 5, could return to the lineup after practice yesterday.

"He's got two options, surgery or rehab," Mitchell said. "It's what's going to be best for him."

Meanwhile, injured centre Antonio Davis (back) did not practise yesterday and likely will miss his fourth game in a row tonight in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.

As for injured guard Alvin Williams (knee), it doesn't appear he will play this season, even with the Raptors all but out of playoff contention.

"He has made a lot of progress," Mitchell said. "But he's not ready to play and I think Alvin would tell you the same thing."

STANDING PAT

Mitchell said he plans to keep forward Eric Williams in the starting lineup for the third game in a row tonight.

"His basketball IQ helps us on the court," Mitchell said. "The things he knows and understands about how to play, and being in the right position to help. We're going to try to do some different things against Cleveland and we're going to need people who can kind of adjust on the fly ... They may work, they may not, but we're going to try."

GRAHAM VS. GRAHAM

For the third time this season, Raptors rookie forward Joey Graham will battle his well-travelled twin brother, Stephen, tonight. Signed by the Cavs for the rest of the season, Stephen was a member of the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls in previous games against the Raptors.


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