LeBron James says he might return during Cavaliers’ Western Conference road trip


The Cavaliers announced last week LeBron James would miss two weeks, a timetable that would have him return for their game against the Lakers on Jan. 15.

That’s the fourth game of a five-game Western Conference road trip. According to the original plan, LeBron would miss games at the Warriors, Kings and Suns and play against the Lakers and Clippers.

Good news for Cleveland: LeBron says he’s still on that track.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Cavaliers just let LeBron stay home and rest during that entire trip and brought him back once they returned to Cleveland for a Jan. 19 game against the Bulls. But if he’s travelling with the team, there’s no reason he can’t return in the middle of the trip.

LeBron’s explanation is also encouraging for the Cavs. If he has been slowed by injury all season, that would explain his underwhelming (by his standards) production so far. And if he could play if necessary, that means his injuries aren’t too serious. It’s the best of both worlds.

I also suspect LeBron realizes this and offered the explanation that would restore the most faith in him. Whether that’s the most accurate explanation is another question, though it certainly could be.

The real test will come when he returns, and sounds as if that will still happen next week.