Raps all abuzz for Bosh

Chris Bosh will see his first pre-season action tonight in Minneapolis. (Sun Media/Michael Peake)

Chris Bosh will see his first pre-season action tonight in Minneapolis. (Sun Media/Michael Peake)

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

The Raptors will have four on the floor tonight in Minneapolis, but they still won't be operating on all cylinders.

Four, as in No. 4 Chris Bosh, makes his pre-season debut tonight in Game 3 of the pre-season in a tilt with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Bosh, who was being held out of action to ensure a slight hamstring problem healed completely, took part in five-on-none drills yesterday at practice as the Raps eased back into things after back-to-back losses to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Head coach Jay Triano said he gave Bosh the option of staying behind and getting more treatment, but the four-time all-star would have none of it.

"He wants to go bad," Triano said. "It's exciting for him. I don't know how many minutes he will play.

We will probably be very restrictive with what he does on the floor.

"He worked hard this summer so we don't expect it will be too long until he's back to 100%."

Neither does Bosh. "It's in me," said Bosh, who added between 15 and 20 pounds of muscle to his previously lithe frame.

"I think I just have to play a couple of games and then I'll be back where I want to be.

"I might be back now. I don't know."

Unlike previous pre-seasons when knee problems have not just taken him off the floor but rendered him incapable of doing almost anything, Bosh's hamstring strain was far less restrictive.

"This year there were no problems at all. It was just a very, very mild muscle related (setback)," Bosh said. "There weren't days where I was sitting around doing nothing, where I couldn't move anything. I was able to do some kind of training or do some cardio in anyway. I could do everything but run so I don't feel like I missed much."

And perhaps even more important than that, Bosh, as well as Hedo Turkoglu, who also saw his first action yesterday at practice but will not travel to Minnesota, were with the team when new sets or the new defensive principles were introduced to the team.

And according to Triano, Bosh and Turkoglu are right up to speed on all of it based on yesterday.

"It's obvious those guys have been paying attention," Triano said. "It's not like they've been away in the training room. They have been up here (in the practice facility) and watching.

"Both have extremely high basketball IQ's so it was no problem for them to fit in. Both the defensive and offensive shell stuff we did today, they were on top of it and they have the coverages down."

Turkoglu expects to start running and practising by next week. He has been excused from the early portion of camp to rest after a long off-season with the Turkish national team and a lengthy playoff run with the Orlando Magic.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


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