UNLV basketball:

Rice: ‘(Moser’s) a lot more hurt than he’s letting on’

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Sam Morris

UNLV forward Mike Moser dives on a loose ball during their game against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. Wisconsin won the game 62-51, dropping UNLV to 9-2 on the season.

UNLV vs. Wisconsin Basketball

UNLV head coach Dave Rice looks down while walking along the bench during their game against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. Wisconsin won the game 62-51, dropping UNLV to 9-2 on the season. Launch slideshow »

MADISON, Wisc. — Mike Moser is not playing at full strength.

This is apparent from the wrap on his right wrist and the wince on his face after certain plays. Just how much the injury is going to affect him in the future, though, is still uncertain.

Moser sprained his wrist earlier this week and played the previous two games through pain. Just how much pain is unknown.

Moser, possibly trying to downplay the injury, said he couldn’t really describe the feeling. All he could say is that it hurts when he bends it forward, but it’s not a sharp pain.

Coach Dave Rice provided more insight.

“Mike’s wrist is really bothering him,” Rice said. “It’s hurt his aggressiveness both on the boards and from an offensive standpoint.

“He’s a lot more hurt than he’s letting on. He’s a really tough guy. He’ll keep playing and fighting because that’s how he is.”

Moser said it hurt more in the first half than the second, when he had a dunk, and that he didn’t feel it affected his game too much.

Game tape would seem to suggest otherwise.

Just as he had done on Wednesday against Cal State San Marcos, Moser on Saturday took a jump shot in the first minute and then stuck to layups and leaners for the bulk of the game.

He also looked awkward in the open court against Wisconsin, botching a couple of passes. He finished with four turnovers and no assists.

Obviously the Rebels want Moser to play. And he said he will definitely play this week. But it may benefit him to sit out the next game or two to give his wrist time to heal.

Of course, that depends on the severity of the injury.

Rice said that going into the game he believed it was still just a sprain. Moving forward, they must decide the best course of action for Moser, and the team.

“We’ll figure that out,” Rice said. “I defer on medical issues to our medical staff and (athletic trainer) Dave Tomchek.”

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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