Rebels basketball:

UNLV’s Bennett day-to-day with nerve pain in his left shoulder

Trainer Dave Tomchek said after an MRI revealed no structural damage he’s treating Bennett like he has brachial neuritis

Image

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Anthony Bennett reacts after a dunk on San Diego State during their game Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. UNLV won the game 72-70 to sweep the regular season series.

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Reno week

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Las Vegas Sun sports editor Ray Brewer and sports writers Case Keefer and Taylor Bern discuss the Rebels' road win at Wyoming and what it could mean for their chances going to Reno this weekend, and Keefer recaps Ronda Rousey's victory at UFC 157.

Anthony Bennett’s current diagnosis on his left shoulder injury provides a possible answer that comes with even more uncertainty.

“Right now we’re treating him as having brachial neuritis, which is exactly inflammation of the nerve group coming off your neck to the shoulder,” said UNLV team trainer Dave Tomchek.

It’s a rare condition, according to the Johns Hopkins online health library. And Tomchek didn’t say that’s exactly what Bennett has, just that after an MRI and ultrasound they are treating Bennett like that may be what’s afflicting him.

At Wednesday’s practice Bennett did some shooting drills under Tomchek’s supervision and didn’t seem to have a problem with it. UNLV coach Dave Rice said Bennett would try to practice Thursday and called him probable for Saturday’s afternoon game at UNR. The Rebels play the Wolf Pack at 1 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

Brachial neuritis generally goes away on its own, though the timetable varies from a couple of weeks to more than a year, said Tomchek, who added he prefers not to give the players painkillers so Bennett isn't on any. The Rebels still aren’t positive that’s what they’re dealing with, but the tests did rule out some possibly more serious diagnoses.

“We’ve determined there’s no structural damage in the shoulder; we’re taking care of the nerve and it’s going to be a day-to-day situation,” Tomchek said. “He’ll get treatment and proceed with activity as pain allows him. There’s no timetable as to when this is going to be completely gone.”

If Bennett can’t play Saturday, junior forward Mike Moser would take his place in the starting lineup. Playing in relief of Bennett in last Saturday’s victory at Wyoming, Moser had 11 points, seven rebounds and four turnovers in 23 minutes. Before that game Bennett had told Rice he thought he slept on his shoulder wrong and then played four minutes before sitting the rest of the way. Whether he practices much or not in the next two days, it’s possible Bennett would try to play through it.

“He believes that if he keeps going in a game and gets his adrenaline flowing then there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be able to play,” Tomchek said.

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

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  1. Bennett missed a lot of time in high school, and he might not disappoint in college either. Hopefully, this will go away sooner rather than later.

  2. Yet he is somehow supposed to last an 82 game NBA season- LMFAO. Sure. Ok if he misses the game- Moser is getting back into form as long as he gets to play the "4" position.

  3. @rose1414 (aj foyt) - If Moser is up to 80% by March, the Rebels will be a very dangerous team. They can definitely make a run.

  4. there's no way to actually know how much pain this is causing Bennett, but this just makes him sound soft.

  5. Moser step up brother you were a monster last year and they made you play out of position this year. Positive thinking kick some a__. Bennett when your healthy come on back but you can learn something from Mr. Moser the guy is all heart and hustle! I wish you both luck.

  6. Mike Moser admitted that he came back too soon. He says he's starting to feel somewhat healthy now.

    As far as Anthony Bennett, the problem he has is supposed to be rare. Also, how do they know that's what he has?