bosh-chris-090201

Raptors forward Chris Bosh is nursing a sprained right knee. ((Nathan Denette/Canadian Press))

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh is bowing out of the NBA all-star game, to be held Sunday at the US Airways Center in Phoenix (5 p.m. MT). 

Bosh, 24, confirmed Tuesday that he won't play because of a knee injury.

The four-time all-star suffered a sprained right knee early in the fourth quarter of last Wednesday's 115-107 to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tests conducted at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital showed no structural damage, but he has missed Toronto's last two games, and will sit out two more games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"It was mostly our trainers and doctors, and Chris himself, making the decision," Raptors interim head coach Jay Triano said.

Bosh is averaging team highs in points (22.7), rebounds (9.5), minutes (38.2), shooting percentage (49.6) and double-doubles (24) this season, his sixth with Toronto. 

"It is a real sign of Chris not being selfish at all, not trying to play in a game when he is not 100 per cent," Triano said. "Now he gets an extra week of rest, so he can come back after the all-star game and make a run."

'It is a great thing'

Bosh will be replaced in the all-star game by point guard Mo Williams, who is averaging 17.1 points, 4.2 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 34.2 minutes in 49 starts for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.

Williams, a six-year pro, will be making his first appearance in the 58th mid-season showcase. 

"It is a great thing," he said. "It is one thing people cannot take away from you."

"My advice for a first-time all-star is that that first shot feels like you're shooting a medicine ball, so try not to shoot an air ball," said LeBron James, Cleveland's other all-star. "But Mo will be with me all weekend, so I will guide him."

With files from the Canadian Press