Nicolas Batum (nasal contusion) Expected To Play Versus Houston

by Casey Holdahl
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Nicolas Batum took a shot to the nose from Monta Ellis in the third quarter of Friday night's loss to the Mavericks in Dallas. He didn't leave the game, though his nose did swell up noticeably, prompting some (myself included) to wonder if Batum had suffered a broken nose. After the game, Batum had an x-ray on his nose, which came back negative for a fracture. Despite that, there was a report citing Batum's agent Saturday morning stating that the 6-9 small forward had sustained a broken nose.

But today prior to practice, the team PR account tweeted that Batum had in fact NOT fractured his nose. Rather, he suffered a "nasal contusion" ...

Whether or not Batum is hindered by the contusion is not yet known, but according to the team, he will play in Sunday afternoon's game against the Rockets in Houston.

UPDATE: Batum confirmed that he did not suffer a broken nose after Saturday's practice in Houston, though he did say he heard a "crack" after being elbowed by Ellis at the 8:03 mark in the third quarter of Friday night's loss. Batum had sustained a broken nose prior to being drafted and it's unclear if it was ever properly reset, which might be why there was some confusion as to whether his nose was broken Friday night.

"I already broke my nose before I got drafted," said Batum. "I received a big hit (from Ellis) on it, that's why it swelled up, but on the x-ray, the thing I have was on before that."

Batum was fitted for a protective mask Saturday morning in Houston, which he will try out Sunday at shootaround before deciding if he'll wear it in the game versus the Rockets at the Toyota Center. Batum said he asked for the mask to be either red or black, though with the NBA telling LeBron James to wear a clear mask rather than a black mask leads one to believe Batum's request will go unrequited.

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