Hughes to start for Cavs with sore foot in Game 4
Hughes sustained a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his foot while making a layup in the first quarter of Game 3. He played only 22 minutes and sat the entire fourth quarter of Cleveland's 88-82 win.
After testing the foot on the practice court in Quicken Loans Arena, Hughes was cleared to play by Cleveland's medical staff.
"I'm going to try it out," said Hughes, who didn't favor the foot as he walked around the building. "From my side, I have to give it a shot. You can limp and walk on the court once your adrenaline gets going."
Hughes said he's not risking further injury by playing on the foot, which is expected to heal without surgery. His biggest obstacle is being able to play through the pain.
"I think I have a high tolerance," he said.
LeBron James was pleased to hear that Hughes would be playing.
"The fact that he's going to go is inspiring to us as a ballclub," James said.
Before learning Hughes would be available, Cavs coach Mike Brown said he would only keep Hughes on the floor if he's productive.
"If he's out there and he's limping or he's looking like he won't be able to help us, or it will give the Pistons an advantage," Brown said, "I'm going to have to make the decision of sitting him or keeping him out on the floor, like I did in the fourth quarter of the last game."
Even with Hughes available, Brown is expected to give plenty of playing time to rookie Daniel Gibson, who had a huge impact in Game 3.
He played a postseason-high 30 minutes, scoring nine points with two rebounds and a block. He also did a nice job helping Cleveland contain Detroit's backcourt of Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton, who shot a combined 6-of-22 for 20 points.
Gibson said he hasn't been told of his role yet, but he's looking to contribute any way he can.
"Coach has prepped me for this opportunity and I'm going go out there and have fun and make the most of it," he said.
Hughes missed 45 regular-season games with a finger injury last season, and he sat out four playoff games against Detroit last May after his younger brother, Justin, died.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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