James is expected to miss two weeks after tests revealed injuries to the superstar’s left knee and lower back.
The Cavaliers announced in a release Thursday that multiple examinations, including an MRI, showed that James has knee and back strains. The tests were performed Wednesday before the Cavs lost their third straight game, a 96-80 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“First and foremost, we want to make sure LeBron is well and completely recovered,” Cavs coach David Blatt told the Northeast Ohio Media Group on Thursday. “The season is long and our main objective is that he will be well and strong for the rest of the season. But we have to fight it out and work every day to build others until he gets back after the time he needs.”
James, who has missed Cleveland’s past two games, will undergo several forms of treatment, including anti-inflammatories, the team said. The four-time MVP has never missed more than five straight games in his professional career; if the two-week timetable holds up, his absence could reach 10 games or more.
The Cavs play in Charlotte on Friday, host Dallas on Sunday, visit Philadelphia on Monday, are back home to meet Houston on Wednesday — then head out for a five-game road trip against Western Conference clubs. Cleveland is 0-3 this season when James does not play.
James aggravated his nagging knee injury on Christmas Day in Miami while jumping over a row of courtside seats. He acknowledged that the knee has been “hurting pretty much all year” on Wednesday, one day after his 30th birthday.
“I’ve been playing with it, and it goes away and comes back,” he said. “So, the one in Miami kind of reaggravated it when I came out of the game in the third quarter.”
Even though James was not required to speak to the media Wednesday because he was out of the lineup, he made himself available to answer a slew of questions in the locker room before the Bucks game about his health and the controversy surrounding his commitment to staying in Cleveland beyond this summer.
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