Norris Cole Injury: Updates on Heat Guard's Nose and Return

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2013

Dec 3, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole (30) shoots the ball as Detroit Pistons small forward Kyle Singler (25) defends during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole suffered a nose injury in Monday, Dec. 30's game against the Denver Nuggets, according to Bleacher Report lead writer Ethan J. Skolnick on Twitter:

Looks like Norris Cole has a broken nose. Might be wearing a mask for a while.

— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) December 31, 2013

As a result of Cole's injury, the Heat will likely turn to veteran guard Roger Mason Jr, as Skolnick points out: 

Without Cole the rest of the way -- you'd assume -- Mason may get some work behind Chalmers.

— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) December 31, 2013

Mason is in his first season with the Heat and has made just over a dozen appearances for the two-time defending champions in 2013-14. 

Cole is averaging a career-high 7.3 points and 3.3 assists per game this season, and is a key role player for the Heat off the bench, averaging more than 24 minutes per night. Cole is also a 42 percent three-point shooter this season. His ability to stretch the floor and knock down long-range shots makes him a crucial piece of Miami's second unit. 

The former first-round pick in 2011 has seen his minutes increase in each of his first three seasons with Miami. Prior to his nose injury, Cole had played in all 30 of the Heat's regular-season games this year, earning two starts.