Ford takes one night off

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

The Raptors' short-lived run of perfect health is over.

T.J. Ford, who has been playing through ankle pain that wouldn't go away, was a scratch for last night's win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Head coach Sam Mitchell was not ready to place a timeline on the injury other than to say it was day to day.

Ford sat out three games around the New Year from the ankle injury. In the eight games he played since then, Ford has shown signs of lingering effects He was held off the scoresheet completely in one game and on two other occasions sat out the fourth quarter.

But at the same time there were games in there where Ford appeared to be his old self, the Jan. 12th game in Boston when he scored 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, had six assists.

"It's just pain right now," Mitchell said prior to last night's game. "He went through shootaround and he could probably play today, but afterwards we sat down with the trainer and we got T.J. to give us an honest assessment. He's in a lot of pain and we want to put this thing behind us as soon as possible so we're calling it day to day. We don't know how much time he's going to miss. It could be one game, two days, three days, it could be the rest of this week. We'll just take it day by day."

The honest assessment talk sounds very similar to the one that forward Chris Bosh finally had with Mitchell and the training staff before being shut down for 12 games with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Mitchell believes it's way too early to be talking lengthy absence with Ford.

"It could be a week or two days but if he continues to play on it, (getting better) just isn't going to happen," Mitchell said. "We don't want it getting to the point where it causes more problems.

After last night's game, Ford said it was a case of the pain just being a lot more severe yesterday than it has been.

"Today was a little setback," Ford said. "It's sore. Some days it feels great. Some days it doesn't. The only way it can get better is with rest."

Mitchell admitted it was plain to him that Ford was playing in pain but he was not going to take the player out if he kept saying he could go.

"It was hard because he's been playing through it," Mitchell said. "As a coach you try to ignore the obvious. I saw that he was hurting but you try to ignore that. He was playing but it wasn't getting better."


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