Rasho back in lineup

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

Last night's game marked the return of centre Rasho Nesterovic, who had missed the previous six games because of a sprained right ankle suffered in a game against the Utah Jazz on Nov. 14 at the Air Canada Centre.

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell threw the seven-foot Nesterovic right into the fire last night, starting him in place of Andrea Bargnani.

"How much he plays is going to depend on how he plays," Mitchell said.

Nesterovic and his wife recently celebrated the arrival of a baby boy.

Forward Maceo Baston was put on the inactive list to make room for Nesterovic.

In other injury news, starting point guard T.J. Ford, who left the game on Nov. 20 in Dallas after suffering an arm stinger, has started practising and is hopeful to play either tomorrow against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the ACC or on Saturday in Washington against the Wizards.

"It's getting better and better. I have my strength back. (Yesterday) I was able to shoot and dribble a little bit. So I feel a lot better than I did the other day," Ford said. "We'll see how it goes (today) at practice."

Ford has been impressed with the way his backup, Jose Calderon, has stepped up.

"He is playing 40 minutes a game. I've never done that, so I don't even know how that feels," Ford said.

Calderon has played more than 40 minutes in the past three games, setting careers highs for assists in each of his last two games.

MORE GARBO NEWS

The Raptors reported that specialist Dr. Mark Myerson, of Baltimore, has completed his examination of Toronto forward Jorge Garbajosa and concurs with Raptors physicians that Garbajosa needs further surgery to his left leg and ankle, which were injured in a fall last March 26 in Boston.


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