Sunday, January 08, 2006

Afflalo Injures Hip, Mata's Nose Bloodied

Afflalo injured his left hip and a portion of his right side below the hip when he crashed to the floor after making a layup in the final two minutes of Saturday's game against Arizona State at Wells Fargo Arena.Although

Afflalo drew a foul on the play, he was unable to shoot the free throw because of the injury.As the game clock wound down, Afflalo tried to stretch and jog behind the basket in order to persuade trainer Tony Spino to let him play. But Spino wouldn't, especially after Afflalo had trouble bending down at the scorer's table while trying to make his case to return.

Mata wasn't sure how his nose got cracked in the first half, but it was severe enough to cause so much blood to run on his jersey that he had to switch from his usual No. 14 to No. 44.

Returning with cotton balls up both nostrils, Mata said he was advised that he might have a slight fracture and should consider wearing a mask to protect his nose when he returns to the court. He was expected to undergo a further examination today. L.A. Times


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