One returns, two to go
T.J. Ford expects to play for the Raptors tonight against the Phoenix Suns.
The real T.J. Ford, that is.
After two aborted attempts to come back from an arm and hand injuries, Ford said this morning he finally feels like himself, good enough to back up Jose Calderon against Steve Nash, who is generally considered the best point guard in the NBA.
"Cleveland and Washington was frustrating, coming back too soon, not being able to have any strengths," Ford said this morning. "The quickness wasn’t there, the first step wasn’t there and the shot wasn’t there.
"It was tough so my body needed to rest and I got in the gym and just tried to emulate game style against some of my teammates and now I feel a lot better."
Ford suffered what's termed a 'stinger' when he collided with Dallas' Josh Howard almost three weeks ago. The effects knocked him out of action entirely for about eight days and it's taken at least a week for him to get back into something close to game shape.
So, what's a 'stinger?'
Tough to describe, but it hurts.
"A stinger’s just like a tingling sensation," said Ford. "It’s painful to touch, it’s just sensitive to the skin.
"I don’t have the sensation any more, the sensation just lasted a few days; after I had it, I just became a little sore."
While Ford should play, neither Chris Bosh nor Andrea Bargnani will, coach Sam Mitchell said.
That leaves Joey Graham in the starting lineup again and Ford said he'll come off the bench behind Jose Calderon.