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Jet won't ditch protective mask yet

4/17/2010

DALLAS -- Jason Terry will wear the hard plastic protective mask he's used since returning from facial surgery on March 17 when the Mavericks open the playoffs Sunday night against the Spurs.

"I've got to wear the mask just to protect my face, so I’ll have it on," Terry said. "I'm doing it to not have to go back to surgery. That's the biggest thing."

Since donning the mask after having surgery to repair a broken orbital bone, Terry is shooting 44.4 percent from the field (84-of-189) and 36.6 percent from the 3-point arc (26-of-71), which is actually a slight improvement over his season averages of 43.8 percent and 36.5 percent, respectively.

Mask or no mask, Terry is looking for a better playoff run than last season when he averaged 14.3 points and shot just 38.9 percent from the floor.

Terry had talked about ditching the mask for the playoffs, but a few close calls have made him realize it's best to keep the mask on.

"Eddie Najera's elbow two practices ago definitely reinforced it," Terry said. "Every time I get ready to take it off I get hit and it makes me keep it on. Until I'm comfortable enough, I'll keep it on."