Jawai targets return

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Nathan Jawai is shooting for the end of January to make his Raptors debut, a moment more than three months in the making since concerns were raised about a heart ailment.

"The workouts are going great and I'm getting into shape quicker than I expected," the jumbo-sized centre said yesterday in Milwaukee.

"Probably it's the end of the month, but who knows?"

Jawai was given clearance to resume workouts a few weeks ago with no restrictions, except not to push himself too much or too soon.

"I haven't been doing anything for three months," Jawai said of the difficulty in getting back into game shape. "I'm probably over-doing it a bit, but I can't help myself. I'm too excited that I'm back."

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One of the most relieved Raptors after winning two in a row was captain Chris Bosh, who was having trouble accepting loss after loss and not likely relishing the thought about taking more weight on with Jermaine O'Neal and Jose Calderon out. But Bosh had been getting assistance from many quarters prior and believes adversity brought out the best in his mates.

"I think it was a mix of a lot things at the same time," Bosh said. "We weren't playing well, we wanted to turn things around, but at the same time, Jose and Jermaine got hurt. And it was "well, we can keep believing or fall by the wayside. Everyone just took the challenge that we can be a good basketball team. We still have the mentality that we're expected to win, no matter what the lineup is on the court.

"We've been playing hard, extremely hard, and playing with confidence and defence. Those are the things that will keep you in games every night. We've been really aggressive and the more we do that, the better we play."


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