Diop has broken nose, will wear shield vs. Suns

Updated: May 23, 2006, 8:41 PM ET
Associated Press

 DeSagana Diop
DALLAS -- Mavericks center DeSagana Diop broke his nose in Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs and will wear a face shield Wednesday night for the opener of the Western Conference finals against Phoenix.

Diop was injured when he caught an elbow from Spurs star Tim Duncan late in the fourth quarter. Diop stayed in and played stellar defense against Duncan, forcing him to go 1-for-7 in the overtime of Dallas' 119-111 victory.

Diop practiced with teammates Tuesday before being fitted for the shield. The team announced that he would wear the protection indefinitely. Doctors said surgery will not be necessary.

Also, the Suns said they'll decide Wednesday whether Kurt Thomas will play in Game 1.

Thomas, a Dallas native who briefly played for the Mavericks in 1998, missed the last 29 games of the regular season with a stress fracture in his right foot.

"It's more probable," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's still a question we'll have to deal with day to day and figure it out. We're not close to making a decision yet."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press