LeBron James rolled his ankle late in the third quarter of Game 4 against the Bulls, but was able to continue to play and ultimately knock down the game-winner to get his Cavaliers even in the best-of-seven series.
“I rolled it pretty good,” James said afterward “I haven’t had an opportunity to see the replay, but I know I rolled it pretty good when I stepped on D-Rose’s foot in transition. I wasn’t coming out. I felt it on the floor for a while, and I just took my time. I was not coming out not only because of the position our team was in but because of who I am as the leader of the team. I was going to fight through it no matter what.”
James is planning to fight through it again in a pivotal Game 5, and while it’s one thing to tighten up your laces and play through the pain on adrenaline, it’s quite another to try to do so after the swelling has set in following not more than a couple of days’ rest.
LeBron didn’t test the ankle at the morning shootaround, but insisted he’ll be ready by tip-off Tuesday night.
“It makes no sense [to test it in the morning],” James said to reporters. He wore sandals, leaving the heavy wrap on his ankle in plain sight. “I’ll give it a test tonight.” …
James said, though, the ankle would not stop him from playing in Game 5. “It’s been better, but it’s been worse,” James said. “So, I’ll be ready to go tonight.” …
“When you’re dealing with injuries, you just find other ways to help the team, and I think we both are going to do that tonight.”
James was referring to himself and Kyrie Irving, the latter of whom is dealing with multiple injuries, but is also planning to play regardless.
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On the Chicago side, Pau Gasol is a gametime decision for the crucial Game 5 contest.