UCLA basketball: Reeves Nelson has laser eye surgery


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UCLA’s basketball team received more bad news Monday, as freshman forward Reeves Nelson underwent laser surgery on his left eye to repair a slight tear in his retina. Nelson will be re-evaluated Wednesday to determine whether he will be able to play against Oregon State on Thursday.

“The retinal tear was very far from his central and meaningful peripheral vision and not affect his ability to see the court,” Dr. Steven Schwartz said in a statement. Schwartz performed the surgery at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute.


This is not the first eye issue Nelson has had this season. Just last Thursday he suffered an injury to his right eye when he landed face-first on the court at Washington State, opening a gash that required 15 stitches. Nelson said that he was having difficulty seeing from the eye Saturday during UCLA’s 97-68 loss to Washington.

Nelson, who is averaging 11 points and five rebounds per game, also took a finger in the right eye against Kansas in December, suffering a corneal abrasion. He was elbowed in the same eye during the next game against New Mexico State. Nelson was also elbowed in the eye early in the game against Washington.

If Nelson is unable to play Thursday, the Bruins would be vulnerable on the inside. The team is already playing without senior forward James Keefe, who is out for the remainder of the season and awaiting shoulder surgery.

-- Chris Foster