TORONTO - At least for now, he’s the Brazilian Blur in name and reputation only.
But Leandro Barbosa is hoping to return to action for the first time since Jan. 14 when he hurt his right hamstring in a home loss to the Pistons.
Given the fragile state with these Raptors, a lot more will be known prior to Friday night’s visit by Minnesota, but Barbosa did take part in practice on Thursday.
“I’m a little winded,’’ Barbosa said long after most of his teammates had departed. “But it feels good to be back.”
With Jerryd Bayless (knee) questionable, Barbosa’s ability to back up starter Jose Calderon at the point and provide any spark off the bench would be welcome.
Even if he isn’t in 100% game shape, which is understandable given his extended period of inactivity, Barbosa’s presence will at least provide a scoring option that hasn’t existed recently on a Raptors team short on scorers.
“We’ll monitor his minutes,’’ head coach Jay Triano said of Barbosa. “A lot will based on feel (as it relates to the game’s flow) and how he’ll respond (on Friday).
“If he comes in and is sore, we could be in for a lot of trouble.”That statement has basically has characterized the Raptors.
Barbosa is playing with a banged up wrist in his shooting (right) hand that will require surgery.
In light of his physical discomforts, Barbosa does not plan to represent his native Brazil at this summer Olympic qualifying tournament in Argentina.
“I need rest,’’ he said. And who can blame him.