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Mask Can Aid Player With Broken Nose

Posted March 8, 2007

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— A broken nose doesn't stop a player like UNC's Tyler Hansbrough -- not when it's ACC Tournament time.

But how big a risk do basketball players take by playing with a broken nose?

According to Dr. Clifton Patterson, an ear, nose and throat physician, the only risk is that the next blow to the nose may hurt a lot more. That's where a protective mask may help Hansbrough.

The UNC basketball player suffered the injury in the last seconds of a game with Duke University when Gerald Henderson's forearm came crashing down on Hansbrough's nose. He suffered a non-displaced bone fracture.

Most of the nose is cartilage. The bone is higher up toward the bridge of the nose, the toughest part.

"And that's where Tyler Hansborough was hit, and he probably just has a crack there and not a displaced fracture," Patterson said.

Patterson works with many athletes with nose injuries and said he usually lets players with an injury like Hansbrough's play the next day, with or without a protective mask.

"It's specifically constructed to fit for his cheek bones and nasal bones. That's why it's sometimes uncomfortable because they sweat. It's a foreign body to them," Patterson said. "They can't see the basket as well, so some players don't like it."


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  • 1heelfan Mar 9, 2007

    Tyler is not going to sit out of any game, much less the ACC Tourmanent. So, mask it and keep on going.

  • tarheelpoet Mar 8, 2007

    That picture brings back memories of when Jawad wore that mask after having his nose broken in a game (I think it was GA Tech if I remember correctly). And yes, it really did affect his performance while wearing it, because it cuts off some of your peripheral vision and disrupts your depth perception, so a lot of Jawad's shots were off. My friends and I would go to the games that year and watch how he struggled with it, and how weird the mask itself looked. He tried taking it off for a little while during one game, but almost immediately, he was busted in the nose again. It's just too dangerous to take a risk like that, so I don't know what they will have Tyler doing with it. He says that he doesn't want to wear it too much...

  • Scarecrow Cow Mar 8, 2007

    I can't imagine being able to see and play well with that thing on. And plus it makes you look like the phantom of the opera. If I had to choose, I might just sit out for a few games but it's up to the player I suppose.