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Toronto Raptors forward Reggie Evans looks on during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Toronto February 10, 2010. (MIKE CASSESE)
Toronto Raptors forward Reggie Evans looks on during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Toronto February 10, 2010. (MIKE CASSESE)

Injured Raptors itching to return Add to ...

If you've ever wondered about the life of injured professional basketball players, start with Reggie Evans's Twitter account - the one packed with exciting updates and helpful photos documenting his latest trip to the grocery store.

Then observe Peja Stojakovic during a Toronto Raptors' timeout, his blazer pressed and glazed eyes locked somewhere in the middle distance.

Or ask Andrea Bargnani what it's like to watch a game instead of play in one.

"It's boring. It's like, the worst thing," said the seven-foot centre, who's watched six of the Raptors' previous eight games because of a calf injury.

Injuries are part of professional sports, but Toronto has been stuck with more than its fair share in recent weeks. The team kicks off a three-game road trip in Chicago on Tuesday against the Bulls, and it's difficult to predict just who will be left standing when they wrap up in Boston versus the Celtics on Friday.

Clearly, the hobbled ones are antsy.

"This is the worst thing I've ever had in my life," said Sonny Weems, who along with Evans (broken foot) and Stojakovic (swollen knee) will be grounded for the trip.

Since Weems was suddenly sidelined with back spasms on Dec. 17, the 24-year-old shooting guard has come to appreciate stretching for the first time in his life. "Guys around my age, we really don't pay attention to stretching that much. We think it's all just BS. But, I mean, it's very important. You can see what I have to go through."

Forward Amir Johnson did not practise Monday because of the sore back, but will travel and probably play through pain.

Starting point guard Jose Calderon is questionable - not because of the sore left foot that has hampered him recently, but because of the right ankle sprain he sustained in a home matchup against the Celtics on Sunday night.

Luckily, reserve point guard Jerryd Bayless (sprained ankle) should be back on Tuesday night to relieve Calderon if needed. And Bargnani, who practised Monday, could suit up as early as Tuesday as well. "Hopefully, we'll see," Bargnani said after practice. "That's what I learned on New Year's. Hopefully."

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