Hughes suffers torn plantar fascia, likely out for Game 4

Updated: May 28, 2007, 7:04 PM ET
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN.com

CLEVELAND -- Larry Hughes of the Cleveland Cavaliers will likely miss Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals after suffering a torn plantar fascia in his left foot during Game 3.

Larry Hughes

Hughes

Shooting Guard
Cleveland Cavaliers

Profile

2007 Season Stats
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
70 14.9 3.8 3.7 .400 .676

Hughes said the likelihood of him playing in Game 4 was "slim."

"I'm not ruling it out. We'll just have to see. If I can go out and help the team, I'll help the team. If not, I'll support them from the sidelines," Hughes said.

Hughes, who had been battling plantar fasciitis for more than a month, tore the heel muscle when he planted his foot to go up for a reverse layup in the first half of Cleveland's 88-82 victory that cut Detroit's lead to 2-1 in the best-of-7 series. He was replaced in the second half by rookie Daniel Gibson, although it was not yet known whether Gibson would replace Hughes as the starting point guard Tuesday night, or whether coach Mike Brown would turn to veteran Eric Snow if Hughes is unable to play.

"Kind of a freak play, I guess. There wasn't any contact or anything like that, I just probably had it planted and turned the wrong way," Hughes said. "It was hot, and I've never torn a muscle or anything like that before. So I knew when I did it that it wasn't a normal tweak or anything like that. It was something pretty serious."

An MRI exam revealed the tear, which Hughes said should be able to heal without surgery. But the healing time for such injuries is typically several weeks, so it's possible that Hughes will not return during the postseason.

"It's very painful. It's real sore today," said Hughes, who was walking with a pronounced limp in the locker room Monday. "If the game was today, I couldn't play today. I'll see tomorrow how it feels."

LeBron James, who had 32 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in Game 3, trusts Gibson and is confident he can fill in adequately for Hughes.

"Hopefully Larry is healthy enough to play, but if he's not, one thing is that we've played without him," James said. "We don't like to, but we have done it, so it's something that's not new to us."

Gibson made two 3-pointers, blocked a shot and didn't commit a turnover in 29 minutes.

"We've thrown him on the floor in tight ballgames during the playoffs, and he's responded very well," Brown said. "The biggest thing is keeping his composure. But he's tough, he's quick, he'll stick his nose in, everybody knows he can shoot if you leave him open -- it's good."

Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. The Associated Press contributed to this report.