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Bobcats center Al Jefferson will play Game 3 vs. Heat on Saturday

Al Jefferson (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images) Al Jefferson averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds in the regular season. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Bobcats center Al Jefferson, who played through pain in Game 2 of Charlotte's first-round playoff series against the Heat after suffering a strained plantar fascia in Game 1, said he will play in Game 3 on Saturday night, according to the Associated Press.

Jefferson participated in the morning shootaround and afterward said his injured left foot feels "about the same" as it did before a 101-97 loss in Game 2 in Miami on Wednesday. "Once I come out of the game and go back in, it may take a few seconds to get it warmed back up," Jefferson said.

Bobcats team doctors said Jefferson can't injure his foot any worse by continuing to play on it, but coach Steve Clifford said he will take Jefferson out of the game if he's experiencing too much discomfort.

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Clifford said he got texts from other NBA coaches after Jefferson played on the bad foot in Game 2, complimenting the big man's gutsiness.

The 29-year-old Jefferson had 18 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1 and 18 points and 13 rebounds in Game 2, but Charlotte still trails in the series, 2-0.

Jefferson, who is in his first season with the Bobcats, required two injections after the injury, which happened late in the first quarter of Game 1.

“I just heard something pop,” he said after the game. “It was a lot of pain. I really don’t know all the details. I know I’ll be OK. It’s something you have to play through … I don’t like needles. It was very uncomfortable for me. I got [one injection] right when it happened … and I got one at halftime. It felt a lot better in the third quarter. … It was something I had to get used to.”

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