That’s not just for the general rest LeBron desires.
LeBron James received an injection in his back this week, according to multiple sources, and is unlikely to play again in the preseason. James received a similar anti-inflammatory shot in January when he was shut down for two weeks and responded so well that the plan was always for him to have another one at some point, one league source said. By doing it now, James won’t miss any significant time.
LeBron was out about two weeks last December/January with what the Cavs called “left knee and low back strains.” He enjoyed the Miami sun, rested, recuperated and returned refreshed. LeBron looked better down the stretch, and that carried over to his dominant playoff run.
Depending on the timing of his injection this week, a two-week absence could keep him out for Cleveland’s Oct. 27 opener. That could get ugly with Kyrie Irving out, Kevin Love questionable and Tristan Thompson unsigned.
But that’s fine. The Cavaliers aren’t worried about winning their first game. They’re concerned about playing well into the spring and summer.
That leads to the big question: Did LeBron correctly time his injection?
This way, he won’t miss a chunk of the regular season, and that carries obvious benefits. But, after getting the injection in January last season, his health peaked in the playoffs. What happens if the effects of this one wear off just before or during the 2016 postseason? LeBron can’t afford to take off time then.
Once LeBron returns – whether that’s before or after Cleveland’s opener – he might be in it for the long haul of the season.