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Injury could affect Reeves Nelson's availability

UCLA FYI

Swelling around his right eye has subsided, but Bruins are not sure when he might return.

December 09, 2009|By David Wharton and Chris Foster

The swelling around Reeves Nelson's right eye has subsided since last weekend, but UCLA remained unsure if he would be available when practice resumes this evening.

The freshman was scheduled to see a team trainer Tuesday afternoon to have the injury checked.

Nelson was poked in the eye against Kansas on Sunday. Doctors found a corneal abrasion and he will have to wear goggles when he plays again.

"The main thing is there is no serious damage to the eye," Coach Ben Howland said. "It could have been a lot of potential bad things in a situation like that."

The Bruins figure to need Reeves, now the starting center, when they face Mississippi State in the afternoon game of the John R. Wooden Classic at the Honda Center on Saturday.

First time

As debuts go, Tyler Honeycutt's introduction to college basketball against Kansas was a little good, a little bad.

After sitting out the start of the season because of an injury, the freshman made only one of six shots and had three turnovers, but grabbed six rebounds in 19 minutes.

"I felt like I did pretty good," he said. "I've just got to get back into the flow of the game."

Howland chalked up some of the rough play to jitters and said that he would have to use Honeycutt judiciously until the underclassman worked himself back into top shape.

But the Bruins need another body in the rotation, someone to take the load off Michael Roll, Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson, so Honeycutt may have to push himself in Anaheim this weekend.

"We're hoping he will be able to get more playing time," Howland said.

On the lookout

The Bruins are continuing to pound the recruiting trail, looking to fill out a backcourt that is thin this season.

"We're really scouring," Howland said. "We want to recruit a point guard and probably another wing."

Coaches were at the recent Westchester tournament to see prospects Jordin Mayes of Westchester High, Deonte Burton of Compton Centennial and Spencer Dinwiddie of Woodland Hills Taft.

UCLA is also pursuing Lazeric Jones, a junior college guard in Illinois.

Study hall

With UCLA in the midst of exams, the Bruins have an abbreviated schedule this week.

Players had Monday and Tuesday off, save for individual workouts for a couple of the freshmen. They will resume practice tonight before heading to Anaheim on Friday.

david.wharton@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesWharton

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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