Reeves Nelson "apprehensive" about eyes

TUCSON -- Reeves Nelson usually doesn't look at reporters whenever he speaks to them. Instead, his eyes gaze into the distance as he talks.

His look was no different Thursday night at he spoke to reporters just outside UCLA's locker room at Arizona's McKale Center, but the concern in his face was also noticeable in his voice. This time, his eyes were the topic of discussion.

"After talking with coach today, it was a mutual decision that it would be best for me not to play," he said.

Nelson had laser surgery on his left eye to repair a partially torn retina early last week. He sat out both of UCLA's games last weekend while recovering, but was due to play against the Wildcats after he was cleared by doctors.

"I could tell there was a lot of apprehension, a lot of anxiety," said coach Ben Howland in reference to how Nelson looked during the team's practice Wednesday.

Nelson's grandmother, who he said helped raise him, has two detached retinas.

"She's legally blind," Howland said.

After consulting with doctors, Nelson and Howland are concerned that the issue might be hereditary. Doctors told Nelson that if his family has a history with the problem, he has a higher likelihood of injury.

"My granny immediately came to mind," Nelson said.

"I have a little bit of anxiety in myself of not being able to play 100 percent. I don't want to short change the guys by not going 100 percent."

Nelson added he did not know if he would play again this season.

"Obviously, we want to protect his health and his well being for the long term," Howland said.