Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd breaks nose during practice

Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd breaks nose during practice
January 29, 2014, 5:30 pm
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Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd (10) dribbles against the Utah.

(Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)

The Oregon basketball team could be without senior point guard Johnathan Loyd when it host UCLA Thursday night after he suffered a broken nose during Tuesday’s practice, coach Dana Altman announced today.

“I don’t know if he’ll be able to go tomorrow,” Altman said.

According to Altman, Loyd was accidentally hit in the face with an elbow during a rebounding drill early in practice.

Loyd, averaging 8.3 points per game and a team-leading 5.7 assists, could try to play with a facemask to protect his nose from further damage.  

Altman called Loyd one of the top-five toughest gamers he’s ever coached.

“If we have one guy who can bounce back and play, it's Johnny Loyd,” Altman said. “I’ve done this a long time. Johnny Loyd is a tough long man. He competed. He’s been here four years. He’s had a lot of opportunities to take days off and not practice because of nagging injuries. He doesn’t do it. He doesn’t miss anything.”

Loyd was replaced as a starter by sophomore Dominic Artis Thursday at Washington when Altman decided to shake up the lineup in order to create a spark for his struggling team which is 14-5 after snapping a five-game losing streak on Sunday with a 71-44 win at Washington State.

“I decided to just try something different because obviously we weren’t playing well,” Altman said. “There was no reason I took him out of the starting lineup other than to try something different.”

Altman said Loyd responded to the move by saying all he cared about the team first.

"Johnny is all about the team so from that aspect we really missed him (for the rest of practice) yesterday," Altman said. "Hopefully he's ready to go."