Chris Bosh said yesterday that he will be able to begin full practices as early as next Tuesday.
Bosh, who has missed 10 games because of a sore left knee, began light practising with the team this past Wednesday.
If all goes according to plan, he'll begin full practices Tuesday or Thursday of next week, though he will likely not see action against Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre. His first game back likely will be next Friday against the visiting Atlanta Hawks.
Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell will have some decisions to make when Bosh returns, including the probability of putting Joey Graham back on the bench. In any event, he wasn't in the mood to discus Bosh's return.
"I don't have to worry about that right now, because Chris is not back," he said. "So there's no use for me to worry about it. When the doctors tell me Chris can play, then I'll start thinking about it. But right now I'm thinking about the 12 guys on the active roster who are going to play."
Mitchell was also not in the mood prior to last night's game to answer questions about Chicago's 14-game win streak against the Raptors.
"I already answered that question," he snapped. "Three days ago. Two days ago. And this morning. They've beaten us, they've played better. It's not like they hit a hook shot at the half court at the buzzer to beat us. They've beat us."
Pressed, Mitchell could not offer any reasonable theories as to why the Bulls have had the Raptors number in recent years.
"I'll let you guys figure it out, you're all a lot smarter than I am," he said.
AROUND THE RIM
Mitchell, who played with Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett in Minnesota, is not buying into the rumours that Garnett will ask for a trade from the struggling Wolves.
The newspapers and Internet websites have been buzzing with reports that Garnett has quietly asked out of Minnesota.
"I just can't hear him uttering those words (trade me)," said Mitchell. "Everything he's been through thus far he hasn't said it. So why would he do it now? I can't see it. Because he's not the type of guy who's going to give up."