TORONTO - Tyler Hansbrough hasnt played in over three weeks but his long-awaited return to the court could be around the corner. Albert Almora Jr. Jersey Cubs . The Raptors forward has been sidelined for 11 games, longer than originally expected, after aggravating a lingering left ankle injury against his former team in the Jan. 1 win over Indiana. Although theres still no clear timetable - hell be a game-time decision in Philadelphia Friday, the case for most of this month - Hansbrough has ramped up his work and believes hes made significant progress. "Today was the most Ive done on it," Hansbrough told TSN.ca prior to Wednesdays contest. "Its definitely getting better, just a few steps but its improving. I feel like Im right around the corner from playing." Participating in practice to some degree for nearly two weeks, Hansbrough continues to work with Torontos renowned training staff to strengthen his ankle. Originally categorized as day-to-day with an ankle sprain, Hansbrough was removed from the injury report altogether and is now simply being listed as inactive while the team waits for him to say hes ready to go. The 28-year-old has been hesitant to rush his return, opting to play it safe and wait until hes close to 100 per cent, according to team sources. "Obviously I want to be out there but its just one of those things where its taken a while," Hansbrough said. "But its getting better." "There was really no set schedule," he continued. "Im improving, I know that, so when Im there, Im there and Ill be ready." The team estimated he would need four-to-five days of rest after he missed his first game with the ankle ailment, and third of the campaign, in Washington on Jan. 3. The injury has turned out to be more intricate than they anticipated. "Its more of a bruise," Dwane Casey said last week. "I dont want to rush him back and I dont think he wants to rush back either," said Casey ahead of the Bucks game on Jan. 13. "If he had to go, if it was a playoff game tonight, hed probably be able to go." That was 10 days ago and still, Hansbrough and the Raptors are taking things game-by-game. "I sat down with the trainers and we kind of came up with when we thought Id be ready," said the forward. "I feel like Ill be on the court very soon." In his fifth NBA season and first with the Raptors, Hansbrough is averaging 5.5 points - a career-low - and 5.0 rebounds in 28 contests. Signed to a two-year deal last summer, his contract is only partially guaranteed for next season. With the former Pacer sidelined, a couple of newly acquired bigs have stepped up and seized the opportunity in Caseys generally strict nine-man rotation. Often the first player off Torontos bench, Patrick Patterson is averaging 9.4 points and 4.9 rebounds since coming to the Raptors in the Rudy Gay trade last month. Chuck Hayes, also acquired in that deal, has earned the trust of his coach with his veteran savvy on defence. Although he was playing well before getting hurt - even supplanting starter Amir Johnson earlier in the season - and Casey is a strong believer that you shouldnt lose your job to injury, the Raptors coach has a tough decision to make when Hansbrough is finally able to make his return. Certainly its not a bad problem for a coach to have, but what will Hansbroughs role be when hes back in uniform and how will Casey juggle his five bigs? "Well see," Casey said after practice Thursday. "Tylers a valuable part of what we were doing earlier, his intensity and what he brings to the table is important but those other guys have really set the tone for the second unit." "Im sure hes not going to be able to come in and go full-bore for big minutes but we want to get him back in the rotation at some point." Mookie Betts Jersey Red Sox . - Mike Magee converted two penalty kicks in a 10-minute span of the first half and the Chicago Fire beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Sunday. Kyle Schwarber Jersey Cubs . Sizemore, who turned 29 on Jan. 4, has been limited to six games over the past two seasons because of an injured left knee that twice required surgery. He originally got hurt on Feb. 25, 2012, during a fielding drill in Oaklands first full-squad spring training workout and had surgery that March 21 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Rookie Tesho Akindele scored three goals and Fabian Castillo added two in FC Dallas 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night. Castillo opened the scoring in the 30th minute. He outran the defence to win a loose ball, was nearly pulled down but composed himself and chipped home a finish. He won a one-on-one matchup in the 74th minute and calmly bent in a shot for his fifthh goal in his last five games. David Justice Jersey Braves. Akindele scored on a well-placed shot inside the far post in the 43rd minute, poked in Castillos miss in the 58th and sent home another rebound in the 86th. Chris Wondolowski had a chance to pull San Jose (6-9-6) within a goal just before halftime, but his penalty kick sailed over the crossbar. Dallas (11-7-6) pushed its undefeated run to nine games. ' ' '
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