Bosh up to speed ... in about 20 games

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

Don't count on Chris Bosh charging to the rescue late in games for some time.

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell said after the team's morning shootaround yesterday that it will take some time for Bosh to regain his conditioning.

"It's going to take time. It will probably be 20 games into the season before he can play 35 minutes," Mitchell said.

The two-time, all-star, power forward hurt his left knee at training camp in Treviso, Italy, last month and missed three pre-season games and some practices. In Wednesday's regular-season opener, a 106-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Bosh played close to 26 minutes, but faded in the fourth quarter. Last season, he averaged 38.5 minutes per game.

Mitchell said it is difficult for Bosh to catch up to the rest of the team in terms of conditioning because the coaching staff cannot work him harder than anyone else now that the season has started, as they want him fresh for games. Plus, they have to be careful with the knee, which tends to swell and get sore from time to time.

"If his knee feels good, he'll practise the entire (length of practice). And if it doesn't, he won't," Mitchell said.

For Bosh, it's all about patience at this point.

"(The conditioning) doesn't come (back) in one or two games. But you can't get frustrated," said Bosh, who agreed with Mitchell's 20-game assessment. "That might happen. Fortunately it's a long season, so that's not even half way through. Even after 20 games we have 60 left."


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