CLEVELAND: Cavaliers mascot "Moondog" was treated and released at a local hospital Wednesday night after receiving an errant blow to the face from the Pacers' David West during pregame warmups.
Moondog often plays around with opposing players during timeouts and before games. He and West were exchanging playful slaps and punches when West caught him a little too hard.
"I feel terrible about that, I really do," West said. "We were just having fun right before the game. We were just messing around. I really hope he's OK. Make sure he knows I'm sorry."
The Cavs indicated the injury was around his eye, but that he'll be fine.
Johns Hopkins actually researched mascot injuries as part of a study in 2001, surveying mascots from professional baseball, football and basketball, according to a report published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine Journal.
They identified 179 injuries during mascot participation, with knee injuries as the most common, followed by hand/wrist/finger and ankle. Nearly half of all mascots who responded complained of chronic low-back pain and 22 reported injuries that required surgery.
Luckily, Moondog just needs an ice pack and a good belly scratch. The Cavs lost the game in overtime 104-98.