UCLA basketball: Reeves Nelson has bothersome left ankle
You could blame it on the Sports Illustrated jinx, except UCLA forward Reeves Nelson's left ankle started bothering him the day before he graced the cover of the sports magazine.
Nelson sat out the latter portion of practice Tuesday and did not practice Wednesday because of his ankle, though an X-ray was negative.
"We're not even sure what it is," Coach Ben Howland said. "It's not an ankle sprain, it's a part of his foot that he feels like was giving out on him all of a sudden. I don't know if it's from wearing a different pair of shoes or what."
UCLA hopes the only image of Nelson in action it sees the rest of the week isn't a regional cover of SI's college basketball preview issue; the Bruins would like to have their returning leading scorer and rebounder in the starting lineup as usual when they open the season Friday at the Sports Arena against Loyola Marymount.
Being chosen for the SI cover seemed to take Nelson by surprise, at least judging from his Twitter post.
"Who woulda thought that some low class white boy from Modesto would be on the cover of Sports Illustrated?" Nelson wrote.
Photo: Reeves Nelson graces the cover of Sports Illustrated's regional college basketball preview issue. Courtesy Sports Illustrated.