Hedo Turkoglu, Raptors at Odds Over Protective Mask
Turkoglu caught an elbow from the Pacers' Mike Dunleavy a few games ago, and suffered a small fracture of the orbital bone under his right eye. After missing virtually all of the last three games, he's now been medically cleared to play -- but only if he wears a protective mask, which is something Turkoglu is fighting.
"They want me to be careful about it, but like I said, it's not really helping me out," Turkoglu said. "It's still uncomfortable and I appreciate all the concern but I'm a grown man and I make my own decisions and I decide not to wear. Just try to focus on my game, not on my face."
Bryan Colangelo, the team's GM, seems unwilling to let his player make that decision in this case, especially since any additional damage done to that bone could end up affecting Turkoglu's vision.
"He's been advised strongly that the mask is required to play right now, to protect him from any sort of longer term or more significant damage being done," Colangelo said.
"You generally like to follow a physician's instructions and we've got someone telling us it's advisable he wears the mask."
The team isn't likely to budge on this issue, and with good reason. With the Raptors on the hook for four more years of salary after this one, there's no way they want their player's long-term health jeopardized. And frankly, Hedo's being a bit of jerk here. If the team wants its player protected -- on a doctor's recommendation -- then its player needs to go along with it and wear the required protection.
It appears that Hedo is going to relent and give it a go, as he was seen trying to get comfortable wearing the mask at today's practice. But all the moaning and the back-and-forth with Colangelo through the media was completely unnecessary.
Perhaps the next time Turkoglu is asked a potentially tumultuous question, he can save us the drama and simply give his now-patented one-word answer in response.