Patrick Patterson is back to work, but is still at least a week away from game action.

Patterson, who was diagnosed with a right ulnar collateral sprain following an MRI on March 9, has missed five games since and will miss at least five more including, last night’s contest in Atlanta.

Patterson was hoping for better news from Monday’s examination.

“More bad news than good,” he said Tuesday at shootaround. “I had hopes that I would be able to come out here and participate with the team and get back to basketball.

“But it could be worse, that’s the way I always look at it. The training staff is telling me it could be worse but at least you’re in a positive situation to know where you stand and when you can come back.”

The Raps have gone 3-2 in his absence but miss his scoring off the bench in a big way. It was painfully obvious just how much he was missed on Sunday when the bench was outscored 59-11 in a loss to Phoenix.

“We gotta hold serve at least,” head coach Dwane Casey said of his second unit’s struggles. “ Hold serve as far as not losing leads. We’ve been losing offensively as much as anything else. We have to find a go-to player or a guy who can produce for us point wise from that second unit. Pat was giving us some space and spacing the floor for us where it did give Greivis opportunities to drive to the basket.”

The good news from Patterson’s end is the pain that was nearly constant when he first hurt it has dissipated almost completely.