Ford won't rush return

T.J. Ford did a little shooting and some dribbling drills yesterday, but feels it would be unwise...

T.J. Ford did a little shooting and some dribbling drills yesterday, but feels it would be unwise to rush back from injury. (SUN MEDIA FILE/Ernest Doroszuk)

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

T.J. Ford doesn't think he'll be ready to play again until at least the weekend.

On any other team, losing the starting point guard for four games and counting would be great cause for concern, but not in Toronto where the tandem of Ford and Jose Calderon gives the Raptors a unique one-two combination that, when healthy, causes opposing defences fits. And when one of the two principals goes down, as is the case now, both have shown in the past they have the ability to carry the load.

"Our strength is making teams prepare for both of us. I think our styles are totally different," Ford said. "He makes smart decisions and I think I take more risks than he does. We put pressure on defences (in a much different manner) and I think it's hard for players to (adjust). It throws the defence off its rhythm."

Ford's injury -- a stinger, which is an injury to the nerves branching off the spinal cord that send impulses down both arms -- initially resulted in shooting pain down both arms. It has since subsided to just some discomfort in his left thumb.

Ford did a little shooting and some dribbling drills yesterday, but feels it would be unwise to rush back.

"It's still early in the season, so I don't think there's any need to push it or risk further injury," Ford said. "I just want to make sure when I do come back, I'm not hurting the team. I'd just like to pick up where I left off."

LOAD ON CALDERON

Calderon, who admitted on Sunday that he was hoping Ford would be able to play tomorrow against Memphis, will have to shoulder the load a bit longer.

Calderon is averaging over 40 minutes in the three games Ford has sat out so far. He also has just three turnovers total in those three games and a total of 35 assists.

Calderon sloughed off the fact that he has committed only one turnover in his past 96 minutes while padding his assist stats with 27 over that same time frame.

"That's one of our jobs, to take care of the ball and try to make plays for everybody," Calderon said.

He felt the lack of turnovers over the past two games was as much a tribute to his teammates as it was to himself.

"They know where they want the ball and I'm going to throw it and it's up to them to catch up. It's teamwork and that's why I'm feeling really good on the court with my teammates," he said.


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