*Nicolas Batum did not, in fact, suffer a broken nose, as originally reported on CSNNW. The nasal fracture was a preexisting injury from his time with the French National team. Batum, instead, suffered a nasal contusion and it is unknown whether or not he will need a protective mask moving forward.*
Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum suffered a broken nose in yesterday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The injury occurred in the third quarter when opposing guard Monta Ellis unintentionally caught him with an elbow. Batum continued to play, despite the terrible pain that comes with having part of your face broken, but was immediately checked after the game to confirm the injury.
Just like the Trail Blazers’ last trip to Texas, they must now acquire a custom medical device so Batum can play in their next game. Batum will require a face mask in order to take the court against the Houston Rockets tomorrow. He may not be as intimidating as LeBron James in a black mask, but I suspect he’ll choose one, if allowed, to perpetuate his “Batman” nickname.
While a hindrance, the break does not appear serious, but injuries never are with Batum. It’s not that he only hurts himself in minor ways, but that he plays through every break, tear, and strain. He’s one of the toughest players in the NBA. Though we’d like him to take it easy from time to time, it’s difficult not to appreciate that kind of mindset. Portland needs him now more than ever as they try to stay competitive for homecourt advantage in the playoffs.
If Batum sees a decrease in minutes, Dorell Wright will step up once again. Wright has been quietly invaluable to the Trail Blazers during times of injury has the most experience on the team after Earl Watson and Mo Williams. The crafty veteran is still capable of making big plays. He’s also only 28, despite being in his 10th season, because he was one of the last NBA players to come directly from high school. His quick legs and quick mind are available to fill in if need be.