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Old 02-04-2008, 02:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
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Exclamation Raptors' Ford may return tonight against Heat

Looks like TJ's dressing tonight.

Originally Posted by Dave Feschuk
T.J. Ford, the Raptors point guard who hasn't played in nearly eight weeks, is expected to dress for tonight's game against the Heat.

And by the way he was talking after this morning's shootaround, there's a chance he'll get into the game.

"I think I'm going to give it a shot tonight," said Ford. "I feel like I'm 100 per cent coming in to playing. I think I can come out and help the team. I think I'm ready to play, so I'll come in early, break a sweat."

Sam Mitchell, the Raptors coach, wouldn't confirm that Ford will even wear a uniform tonight. But the coach reiterated that the timing of Ford's return to the court will be largely up to Ford.

"It depends how he feels," said Mitchell today.

Though it was forecast by the coach that Ford might need a series of practices to rediscover his form, Ford, who participated in yesterday's team practice in Miami, said he's in "game shape."

He hasn't played in an NBA game, of course, since he was taken off the floor on a stretcher on Dec. 11 after he took the brunt of an Al Horford flagrant foul in Atlanta. But after spending most of the last three weeks working out in Houston under the tutelage of John Lucas, the former NBA point guard and coach, Ford said he's ahead of schedule on his rehabilitation.

"(Playing tonight) is something I didn't anticipate, but after yesterday's practice and just feeling good about the way my body felt, and just being able to get up and down (the court), I didn't feel that I lost anything as far as timing, as far as decisions," said Ford.

"I felt it was all there ... If it presents itself and I get in, great. If I don't, I'll just look forward to the next one."
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