ST. LOUIS — Sporting a custom-made facemask to protect a broken nose, LSU guard Tremont Waters participated in a brief practice at Scottrade Center on Wednesday and should play in the Tigers’ Southeastern Conference tournament opener Thursday night.
Waters was hurt diving for a loose ball in Monday’s practice in Baton Rouge and had to receive stitches to close a cut near the bridge of the nose. He was limited in Tuesday’s practice, coach Will Wade said.
Waters donned the specially ordered mask for Wednesday's workout on the Scottrade Center floor, where 10th-seeded LSU will face No. 7 seed Mississippi State at 6 p.m. Thursday in a second-round tournament game.
“He’s feeling fine,” Wade said of Waters, who leads LSU with 15.6 points and 5.9 assists per game. “He has to wear the mask, but it’s fine. He shot it well ... he practiced with it earlier today and seemed fine.
“It’s just one of those freak things that happened Monday in practice,” Wade said. “He was diving for a loose ball and had a little mix-up on the floor. We had a couple guys going after the ball.”
Wade said the swelling has subsided and doesn’t expect Waters to be affected much, if at all, against Mississippi State.
“Our training staff and doctors have done a great job,” Wade said.
Waters, who was named to the SEC Coaches All-Freshman team Tuesday, politely declined to discuss with reporters how the injury happened but said he didn’t have any problems with the mask in practice.
“I never played with one before,” he said. “It’s going to be uncomfortable for like the first two minutes, but I’ll just forget about it and keep playing. That’s it ... it felt fine.”
In other news, Wade said guard Daryl Edwards, who missed the South Carolina game last Wednesday with a bruised hip and played 11 minutes against State on Saturday, is fine and ready to play Thursday.
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At a certain stage in his athletic development, Tremont Waters, like so many others, had to make an important decision about his future.