Ford still nursing injury

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

Raptors' T.J. Ford was unable to take part in a full practice yesterday at the Air Canada Centre.

Ford missed three games earlier this month with a sprained right ankle, and the injury is not healing as quickly as hoped.

Head coach Sam Mitchell decided to keep his starting point guard out of practice yesterday, but Ford's status for tonight's game against the Charlotte Bobcats at the ACC is probable.

"It is difficult (missing practice), but I've got to continue to just stay with it," said Ford. "I'm getting my conditioning in, I'm getting my shots up after practice."

Ford has struggled in the past couple of games. In Toronto's 102-94 loss to the Utah Jazz at the ACC on Friday, he played only 26 minutes and picked up six assists and eight points.

But he won't use the sore ankle as an excuse.

"It's tough, but I'm out there playing, giving it my all," he said. "You're going to have some good days and some bad, you've just got to learn how to just maintain it and play through it.

"I feel I can still go out there and give 100% and I don't feel that I'm hurting the team," he added. "I think if I was hurting the team in any aspect of the game, I'm pretty sure everybody would let me know and recommend rest."

ABOUT GARBO

Mitchell also believes that part of the reason for rookie Jorge Garbajosa's recent struggles on the court is the fact that he is becoming a little worn out.

Garbajosa played only 23 minutes as the team's starting small forward on Friday against Utah, and managed only four points and one rebound.

"He played all summer (at the world championships) and it's tough. And then he got hurt and then he got sick," said Mitchell said. "He's got to be, if not physically, mentally fatigued. So I've got to watch his minutes. If he's not going as good, I've got to get Joey (Graham) in there a little bit quicker."

Garbajosa said that he feels fine, though he is still adjusting to his role as a small forward, whereas in Europe, he played more of a power game.

AROUND THE RIM

The Raptors took part in the annual King Pin Bowling Challenge on Saturday at Lucky Strikes in Vaughan to raise funds for their foundation. The event was won by Chris Bosh.


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