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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Starting guard Chris Hines doubtful to play against Idaho State

It should go without saying that the most important news to come out of Utah basketball today was that point guard Glen Dean had brain surgery this week and is going to be OK.

Not a basketball issue, a life issue, and it's good to see that Dean, a dogged and determined player who is sitting out this year after transferring from Eastern Washington, has apparently come through it without complications.

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In terms of basketball, though, the Utes suffered suffered more bad news this week.

Starting guard Chris Hines is unlikely to play against Idaho State, Larry Krystkowiak said.

Hines suffered a break in the tip of left thumb Saturday on his first shot against BYU. He practiced limitedly this week.

In practice Thursday Hines wore a tight-fitting brace, but did not participate in any contact drills.

"It didn't really look good in practice," Krystkowiak said. "We taped him up and we tried but then I didn't see him out in practice for three quarters of it."

When asked if Hines would play against Idaho State, Krystkowiak said, "I'm guessing not."

Without Hines, the struggling Utes will have even more difficulty finding ways to score. The Houston native is Utah's third-leading scorer with 8.8 points per game and their primary perimeter threat.

"It hurts us for sure," Krystkowiak said. "It's going to be by committee."

Hines did not play in the Utes opener against San Diego Christian, and has been nursing rib and elbow injuries throughout the season.

— Bill Oram

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