Ford to see specialist

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

Raptors point guard T.J. Ford, who has not played since he left the game on Dec.11 in Atlanta, is expected to travel to the renowned Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday to consult with even more specialists concerning the state of his injured neck and arms.

Ford suffered the second stinger of his career when he went down in Atlanta after being fouled by the Hawks' Al Horford. He suffers from a condition known as spinal stenosis, which sometimes causes the loss of feeling in his arms and shoulders when he is hit hard.

Toronto's starting point guard missed the entire 2004-05 season, while a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, as a result of neck surgery related to his condition.

He already has consulted orthopedic specialists in Los Angeles and New York, as well as the Raptors' own specialists.

Ford's condition has the franchise worrying as to when he may able to return, but the Houston native said that he is feeling better every day.

"It's just a waiting game," he said yesterday, following Toronto's 93-90 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the ACC. "But mentally and physically, I feel fine."

Ford insisted that once he's cleared to play, it will only take him "one day" to get back into playing shape.

WORD GAMES

Cavaliers star LeBron James seemed to have a running conversation going with the Toronto bench during yesterday's game, though he denied that certain words spoken by some Raptors players just prior to the fourth quarter that resulted in his exploding for 24 points in that frame.

"I get into a conversation with everyone during the course of the game," James said. "I do not use that as motivation."

JOSE LOGGING BIG MINUTES

With Ford out, backup point guard Jose Calderon continues to log big minutes. He played 42 yesterday against Cleveland, and has now played three games in a row when he logged over 40.


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