Dilemma for Triano

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

The Raptors will be in an awkward position come tomorrow if centre Jermaine O'Neal is close to returning to active duty from a knee injury.

With a road game at Indiana, O'Neal would like nothing more than to play against his old team, the Pacers, after last summer's big trade ended his eight years with the franchise. But coach Jay Triano doesn't want him rushing back into the lineup on just one day of practice, which would be all he gets this afternoon at the ACC.

You also get the feeling Triano hasn't yet decided how fast to work O'Neal in now that Andrea Bargnani has played so well in his absence. O'Neal, who missed his ninth game last night, worked out on his own earlier in the day.

"You don't want to throw a guy out there who hasn't had a chance to practice," Triano said yesterday. "You have to get at least one good one in and see how his knee reacts."

Triano dribbled around two separate questions about how he will handle the O'Neal-Bargnani rotation, maintaining: "I'll cross that bridge when it happens" and saying he had no policy towards giving a starter back his job when it was lost through injury. "I'll discuss it with both players," was all Triano would say.

Chris Bosh also was diplomatic about playing with either man, joking he'd have to sit down and think about the pros and cons before getting back to the media on that one.

"Andrea is more of a mix, a high-low guy. Jermaine operates mostly low. The difference mostly is where there position is. I'm effective with both guys."

O say can you see, eh?

The Chicago Bulls brought an all-Canadian TV crew to the ACC last night -- Montreal-born Bill Wennington and Chuck Swirsky, who became a Canadian citizen during his long tenure with the Raptors. The Raptors' TV duo was all-American, Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong, while its radio crew are Canucks, Paul Jones and Eric Smith.


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