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Wright Readies For Debut At Practice On Wednesday

Related Stories: Raps Split From Practice For Some Team Bonding | Wright Bio | DeRozan Bio | Ulmer's Analysis: SG
Watch Wednesday's Practice Video: Antoine Wright | Jay Triano | Sonny Weems | Jarrett Jack
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October 21, 2009

Jay Satur - raptors.com

TORONTO - The Raptors were back at work on Wednesday and despite an upbeat atmosphere post-practice, rest assured - this was no afternoon at the bowling alley.

"We had a very intense practice," said head coach Jay Triano after the workout. "A lot of scrimmage. A lot of break down in drills. (We) expired some of our guys, which is what we were trying to do."

One player who's been putting in even more work is swingman Antoine Wright, who appears poised to finally make his Raptors debut on Friday with the lingering effects of a sore right knee nearly behind him.

"He's (Triano) been letting me go," Wright said of his last two practices. "I've been looking for the subs, if anything. Right now, I'm just looking at getting my wind up. But my knee feels great. I've been doing my treatment and strengthening it. So I think I'm ready to go."

Wright's return adds an air of mystery to a Raptors starting lineup that otherwise seems set. In seven preseason starts, DeMar DeRozan has provided just what you'd expect out of a highly-touted rookie; flashes of what could be countered by the mistakes you'd expect from a 19-year-old. Sonny Weems has also provided a nice boost off the bench in the preseason but also has zero NBA starts under his belt. Marco Belinelli has just 23 career starts to his credit.

You'd think that lack presents a golden opportunity for Wright - a starter for 53 games with the Mavericks last season. Triano praised Wright's approach to the game, but also said his rotations could vary frequently based on matchups.

"[Wright]'s got that experience factor a little bit. That doesn't mean we're going to start him and it doesn't mean he's going to play more minutes than some guys (on) some nights. He plays hard, he practises hard, pays attention to everything and he hasn't missed a beat as far as trying to pick up what we're trying to do."

With Wright ready to go, the Raptors remaining health concerns lie with power forward Reggie Evans, who remained on crutches Wednesday as he recovers from a sprained left foot. Triano was not ready to set any kind of timeline on a return for the bruising forward.

"Right now, they're trying to let the tendons heal without him putting a lot of body weight on it," said Triano. "As soon as he's allowed to put his body weight on it, then we'll start getting him on the practice floor to see where he is, but I'm not going to make a prediction as to where he's going to be in a week from now."

The Raptors will hold a lighter workout on Thursday before hitting the road for their final preseason game against the Timberwolves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Friday.