The Spurs placed C David Robinson on the injured list yesterday because of lower back spasms.

Robinson, whose back tightened up Wednesday night after a loss to the Grizzlies, will miss at least two games.

Being placed on the injured list usually means a player must sit out for at least five games, but Spurs spokesman Tom James said the team was avoiding that rule by not replacing Robinson on the active roster.

Robinson didn't travel with the team to Salt Lake City for yesterday's game against the Jazz, and he will also miss the Spurs' game against the visiting Pistons today.

The 7-foot-1 center, playing in his final season, has had back trouble late in his 13-year career, beginning with the 1996-97 season, when he missed all but six games.

* RAPTORS' CARTER SET TO RETURN: G Vince Carter will return to the struggling Raptors on Sunday after missing 23 games with a strained right knee.

Carter, who was voted one of the Eastern Conference's starting all-star forwards with 1,300,895 votes, received medical clearance to play following an evaluation from team doctor Doug Richards yesterday. He also received a good report from orthopedist James Andrews.

-- From News Services