Raptors' injuries not serious

Diagnostic tests performed Wednesday night showed no structural damage to Raptors guard Jose...

Diagnostic tests performed Wednesday night showed no structural damage to Raptors guard Jose Calderon's ankle. (Sun File/Greg Henkenhaf)

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

What appeared to be a costly win over the New York Knicks may not be so costly after all.

Sprained ankles suffered by both Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker don't appear as serious as first feared.

Calderon, who went down midway through the second quarter and did not return to the game watched practice yesterday but seemed to be of the opinion that far more was being made of his injury than needed to be.

Diagnostic tests performed Wednesday night showed no structural damage.

Parker, who sprained the same right ankle he rolled over in San Antonio last month costing him five games, was in practice gear and working on his free-throw shooting.

At one point late in the practice, he had assistant coach Jay Triano engaged in a one footed, one handed three-point shooting competition that Triano won easily.

"They didn't practice but they're both going to try to play (tonight) so we'll see how they are in the morning," head coach Sam Mitchell said.

The fact that there is even a chance that one or both players could be back on the court tonight can only be attributed to the fine fortune that has accompanied this team for the vast majority of the 2006/07 season.

Granted the Raptors have had their fair share of injuries from a 12-game absence by Chris Bosh for a bone bruise on his left knee to a pair of three and four game stints on the disabled list for point guard T.J. Ford and that five-game loss of Anthony Parker's defensive presence and this key three-point shooting ability.

But throughout those injuries and a host of less serious one's this season, the Raps have never really had a bite taken out of them by the injury bug.

Bosh's 12-game absence, potentially the most difficult to overcome, saw the Raps go 6-6 while he rehabbed.

When Ford went down, Calderon stepped up. Even without Parker, the Raps managed to win two of the five games he missed.

Should he be forced to miss a game or a few games this time around, Juan Dixon, who was just learning the Raps system the first time Parker went down is now much more comfortable and effective in the Raptors scheme to fill in if need be.

Even with a six game lead on their nearest competitors in the Atlantic, Mitchell didn't think the team would err on the side of caution if they thought one or both players was ready to return.

"I just think if they can go, they have to go," Mitchell said. "We haven't won anything yet. Until they put that little asterisk by your team name (in the standings), we haven't done anything. We still have to get there. There's still a lot of important games to go. We just have to handle our business."

Likewise Parker seemed to see no need in easing anyone back in regardless of the Raps post-season situation.

"My thing is whenever I'm ready to play, I'll play," Parker said. "As far as strategies, that's up to the coaches and the training staff. If they decide to hold me out and wait or whatever, then that's fine, but as soon as I'm ready to go and can help the team, then that's when I'll go."

MIKE.GANTER@SUNMEDIA.CA

GAME DAY: PAGE S12

CALDERON, PARKER EAGER TO TEST SORE ANKLES

"I JUST THINK IF THEY CAN GO, THEY HAVE TO GO."

COACH SAM MITCHELL ON JOSE CALDERON AND ANTHONY PARKER


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