Sam says it's T.J.'s decision

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:51 PM ET

MIAMI -- Sam Mitchell says he'll leave it up to T.J. Ford to decide he's ready to get back in a game.

But after watching Ford scrimmage with the team yesterday for the first time in seven weeks, Mitchell's assessment of Ford's play is "rusty."

"He needs some more practice time," Mitchell said. "The game is different than playing one-on-one. "When he's ready to play, he'll play.

"He'll let me know."

NO TIMETABLE

Ford doesn't have a set timetable, saying he needs to sit down and talk it all over with the Raptors coaching staff.

John Lucas, who flew to Florida with Ford after overseeing his rehab, believes Ford is capable of playing within days.

"I know the team has asked him to practise a week, but he's not a week away," Lucas said.

"It's not my decision but he's not a week away. He won't make shots right away, but it's like I told him, he never made his shots all the time anyway."

Mitchell won't be swayed.

"He's got to get his timing back," he said.

"The guy hasn't played in seven weeks. Then you have to come back and try to play NBA basketball, you're going to need some practise time. Get used to the speed of the game.

"Get your timing. Get your quickness, your legs, all of that. It's going to take him a while.

"This is just the first step."


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