Friday, May 10
Updated: May 12, 5:33 AM ET
 
Kidd's status banks on swelling; Hornets hurting

ESPN.com news services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nets point guard Jason Kidd remains a game-time decision for Game 4 today against the Charlotte Hornets, saying Saturday he will not play if swelling keeps his right eye shut.

Jamal Mashburn
Mashburn

Jason Kidd
Kidd

"I'm a question mark for (Sunday). I would love to play, but it's out of my hands," Kidd said after Saturday's team shootaround. "If my eye shuts, then there's no way I can play. The main thing is to see how I feel tommorrow."

However, the Nets' star guard said his condition was improving and was optimistic.

"I can see everything, the eye is opening and has gotten better each day. My vision hasn't been blurred," said Kidd, a towel draped over his head after some light shooting drills.

Meanwhile, Hornets center Elden Campbell, who missed practice Saturday with a virus, will play today.

Kidd received at least a dozen stitches over the eye after colliding with Hornets guard David Wesley late in the first half of Thursday's game.

Kidd was the last one off the team bus Saturday, dark sunglasses covering his swollen eye. When he took them off, he looked more like a boxer after losing a title fight than New Jersey's star guard.

His right eyelid was swollen and bruised, the clear bandage over his eyebrow doing little to cover the dozen or so stitches underneath it. A second purplish bruise ran diagonally underneath his eye.

As bad as the wounds looked from Thursday night's bloody, head-to-head collision, the Nets insisted Kidd's eye was improving and were hopeful he would play Sunday in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Nets president Rod Thorn added Saturday: "If the doctors say he can't play, then he's not going to play. ... If he can play, then he will -- that may or may not be tommorrow."

Kidd said if he plays Sunday it will be without a mask or goggles, fearing the might open up the stitches above the right eye. He also said he has not suffered from headaches or blurred vision.

"You learn a lot about your body when you're hurt and I've learned a lot about the eyelid," he said. "I have a lot of respect for the boxers now and I'm just glad I picked basketball as my profession."

Backup Anthony Johnson would start if Kidd can't go.

Hornets leading scorer Jamal Mashburn remains the team's list of ill players as Charlotte tries to tie the best-of-seven series at two games each.

Campbell, who had an upset stomach Saturday, and told trainer Terry Kofler he thought he caught the bug from his children. That's better than if he had caught it from Mashburn, who was stricken with a virus seven games ago that has turned into vertigo and limited his postseason play to 10 minutes in Game 1 of the first round.

"There's, I guess, protein on the brain that they're trying to break up with these exercises that they're doing. It's not good," Hornets coach Paul Silas told The Charlotte Observer about Mashburn. "I've talked to a lot of people now with those symptoms and they've lasted a long time with some people.

"He's clearly not going to be ready if he comes back right away. (He's had) no practice and he's weak as it is. It's going to take him some time to get his strength back, so we're not anticipating him back any time soon."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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