Pape's back on the scene

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

The happiest guy at the TD Banknorth Garden yesterday wasn't the crazy Irish mascot.

It was Raptors forward Pape Sow, who has been given the green light to return to action.

"I can't wait, that's all I've been working for," said Sow, following the team's shootaround yesterday morning.

Sow fractured a vertebrae in his neck in the Las Vegas Summer League and has missed the entire season. Doctors in Vegas, however, examined his neck one last time earlier this week and determined he was ready to play.

Sow will take part in a full practice with the team tomorrow back at the Air Canada Centre, although he probably won't see any game action until head coach Sam Mitchell has seen him perform in a few practices. In any event, Sow said he will not worry about re-injuring his neck when he takes to the court.

"I'm the kind of person who does not worry about being injured. If it happens, it happens," he said.

BANGED UP IN BEANTOWN

Mitchell said having a day off between road games on Thursday was a bonus as he still has a couple of players with "functional injuries," meaning they are banged up but able to play.

"We were able to get some treatment, a workout in and they just got to take care of themselves a little bit," he said.

Guys playing but still hurting include forward Jorge Garbajosa (strained right calf) and guard T.J. Ford (sprained right ankle).

AROUND THE RIM

In the Morris Peterson trade rumour department, this week's possible destination for the Raptors veteran forward is Detroit. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons are interested in Mo Pete's services ... Rumours out of Cleveland say former Raptor Donyell Marshall is not happy with his diminished playing time ... According to the New Jersey papers, the Nets were underwhelmed with what they could get on the trade market for their three big stars, Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd and former Raptor Vince Carter ... Another former Raptor, Houston Rockets guard Rafer Alston, is struggling brutally in the shooting department. Alston is shooting 36% from the field this season and during one stretch in recent back-to-back games against Minnesota and Cleveland, missed 20 straight shots.


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