A lot worse could have happened to Chris Bosh than merely missing the bulk of the Raptors pre-season schedule.
But that is the Raptors big man's reality these days ... again. Having been down this road just a year ago when he missed four of seven pre-season games with the onset of plantar faciitis, Bosh is well aware of the rust that can build up through lack of game activity and how that shows up once he does get back on the floor.
The Raptors' franchise player is convinced he got off to a slow start last year because of his inability to practice and, while he has been limited this year by a sore left knee that swelled up on him after tweaking it during a practice in Treviso, Italy, he's doing what he can to lessen the impact when he's back to full health.
"It's frustrating," Bosh said after another non-contact practice. "Last year I paced myself. I think last time I didn't really know how to work (with an injury) because I'd never been in that position before. Now I go through all my drills hard and make sure I get up as many shots as I can, lift weights the right way and go hard in everything. That way when I go through drills I've been there before and then that will lead to being in better physical conditioning coming into the game."
Bosh said not taking part in practice and missing the past three pre-season games hurts his conditioning most.
"That is the toughest thing. I can stand here and do spot-shooting all day," Bosh said. "But after you run up and down the floor a couple of times it's a whole other story."
Bosh would settle for just getting into the flow of a game so he could get that feel back for sprinting the floor and then still have the touch at the other end to drill home an 18-footer. On that front, Bosh may get his wish as early as Thursday when the Raps host Cleveland.
The plan is to increase his workload a little each day, according to head coach Sam Mitchell. If there is no swelling in his injured left knee by Wednesday, the plan is to let him go full-tilt in practice and again, assuming there is still no swelling, get him a few minutes in Thursday's game against Cleveland and Friday's game with Washington.
"It's still pre-season so I really don't care if I go out there and look bad," Bosh said. "I just want to go up and down the floor and get used to the speed of the game."
When it was pointed out that Plaxico Burress of the New York Giants is producing just fine this year and has yet to take part in even one team practice, Bosh's eyes lit up.
"Yeah, and he's killing. It's possible," he said.