Villanueva says he'll play Friday
Villanueva suffered a broken nose against the Hawks on Sunday and missed Wednesday’s game against the Bulls because he still had some lingering affects like trouble breathing and a headache.
“I feel a lot better than when I was in Chicago,” Villanueva said. “I’m still having a little trouble breathing, but it’s not as bad as a couple days ago.”
Villanueva was fitted for a mask earlier in the week and went through the shootaround Friday with it on.
“I had it on earlier. It’s going to be a little weird at first, but I think I’ll be fine,” Villanueva said Friday. “It’s been a little uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel comfortable having something cover my face. It gets really sweaty, but I have to manage. I can’t worry too much about it.”
Villanueva said he is still aware the mask is there while playing, but hopes as the game goes on he will be able to block it out.
“I’m aware of it. I guess that’s the beginning stages. You’re aware of it being there, but hopefully throughout the game I’ll forget about it,” Villanueva said. "You feel that it’s protecting it. Without it, that’s when I’m a little hesitant. Playing with it is going to be something that I have to get adjusted to.”
Despite the injury, Villanueva has kept his sense of humor and laughed when he was asked if he was the first NBA player to send a Twitter update before surgery.
“I don’t think nobody’s done that right before surgery,” Villanueva said. “People that follow me, gave me a positive response, wishing me well and what not.”