Bosh's knee feels good

DEAN McNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

Sam Mitchell finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel and, no, it is not just an ambulance coming to pick up yet another injured Raptor.

The Raptors coach has seen his players drop faster than customers at a New Jersey Taco Bell over the past month.

But yesterday Mitchell expressed confidence that the worst is now -- hopefully -- over.

Forward Chris Bosh played 41 minutes in a heartbreaking 100-98 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday after 12 games on the shelf with an injured knee, and yesterday said he felt great in the aftermath.

The team also has been without T.J. Ford, Jorge Garbajosa, Fred Jones, Jose Calderon and Morris Peterson at various times this season.

All but Ford and Garbajosa are now back in the lineup.

Garbajosa said yesterday he could play tonight against the Atlanta Hawks at the Air Canada Centre.

"I think I'm going to be ready," the rookie forward said. "But it is not just my decision. I have to check with my coaches."

Mitchell said Ford also was upbeat about the rehabilitation of his sprained ankle.

"T.J. told me he felt a lot better (yesterday)," he said. "But it's still day-to-day with those guys."

Considering the amount of court time lost through injury, Mitchell said he has been pleased with how the rest of the team has picked up the slack.

"We've had guys step up to play a lot of minutes," Mitchell said. "We really feel that when everyone returns we will have helped those guys develop into better players."

Although Bosh was restricted to a lighter than usual practice yesterday, he said his knee responded well to treatment after the Phoenix game.

"It feels good," Bosh said. "I'm just taking precautions, making sure I ice it to take care of it."

He said that it was good to get back on to the court in a game situation, even in a losing cause.

"I was surprised that I was still standing (after the game)," Bosh said. "I really didn't expect it to feel that good."

He said that he anticipated playing a lot of minutes and expects the same tonight against the Hawks.

Mitchell debated cutting some of Bosh's minutes against the Suns, but then thought the better of it.

"We could tell (Bosh) missed 12 games," he said. "But with the two knee injuries he has had and having played 41 minutes, I thought he played great.

"I could tell that he was tired. There were times when I probably should have gotten him out of the game but I felt that (I owed it to him) to leave him out there."


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