Bargnani back today

The Raptors have a two-game losing streak that coach Sam Mitchell would like to see end against the...

The Raptors have a two-game losing streak that coach Sam Mitchell would like to see end against the Wizards and having Andrea Bargnani back would go a long way to making that happen. (Sun Media/Alex Urosevic)

DEAN McNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

The Raptors should have their premier three-point shooter in the lineup tonight against the Washington Wizards -- that is if bad weather doesn't throw up a road block to keep Andrea Bargnani from reporting for duty.

The 7-foot-0 Bargnani has spent the past three days at the bedside of his ailing grandfather in Italy and was scheduled to rejoin his teammates in Washington today.

At least that was the hope of coach Sam Mitchell when he was asked yesterday about the status of his star rookie.

"Last time we checked we can't predict the weather," Mitchell said.

"But if everything happens the way it is supposed to happen he'll be back (for tonight's game)."

The Raptors have a two-game losing streak that Mitchell would like to see end against the Wizards and having Bargnani back would go a long way to making that happen.

The team also was without Anthony Parker in the losses to Milwaukee and Cleveland on the weekend.

GAME-TIME DECISION

Parker was listed as a game-time decision as he recovers from a sprained right ankle.

"Anytime you are missing one of your starters and your first guy off the bench it's going to hurt what you can do as a team," Mitchell said.

He said that he never expected that the Raptors could go the rest of the NBA season without having to jump some hurdles.

"It's a long season. You are going to have bumps in the road," Mitchell said. "Right now we are still pleased where we are in the standings and I am confident we will get back on track."

While Mitchell wasn't about to lay down a list of excuses as to why the team has stumbled he did say that taking both Bargnani and Parker out of the lineup leave large holes to fill.

"When you've got the best three point shooter (Bargnani) on our team and probably the best three point shooter from the top (Parker) missing, of course it's going to affect your team.

"Take Bargnani out and we probably just lost 20 plus points from our lineup and our best perimeter defender and a guy that has been playing 30 minutes a game."

Should Bargnani's flight not be delayed he will play tonight, Mitchell said.

"Anthony Parker will be back when he gets back and Andrea will be back when he gets back and until that happens other people have just got to step up," Mitchell said. "We have got to get back to doing the things we were doing before these past two games."


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