I will be shocked if he’s not.
Just wanted to get that out there first. It’s one thing for LeBron James to miss preseason games and a few practices, it’s another to miss a regular season game (one where Kyrie Irving will not play and facing another of the top four teams in the East).
With just a handful of days before the Cavaliers tip-off the season — Oct. 27 against the Chicago Bulls — LeBron has not been medically cleared to play following an anti-inflammatory injection he got last week. He has not practiced since receiving the shot. Here is what all the key parties said at Cavaliers practice Friday, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“Is it by choice?” James asked of being held out (of practice). “No, it’s not. But it’s the schedule I’m on, and I’m trying to listen to the training staff and not be hard-headed, and I’m going with them. When they tell me I’m cleared to practice, I’ll practice….
“I don’t think that there’s any reason that he won’t play on Tuesday,” (Cavs GM David) Griffin said. “We have no reason to believe that, but we also are of the mindset that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he didn’t play on Tuesday. We just want him to get better every day, and he has been, and he’s been progressing and feeling like we’d like him to feel.”
James, for his part, said he would face the Bulls “if everything goes right” with his rehabilitation.
Again, I’d be shocked if the guy that fills the arena isn’t lacing them up on opening night.
Sure, the Cavaliers should be cautious here — the goal isn’t to win Game 1 at the expense of future games — but do you think recovery time from the injection was not worked out in advance so he would be ready next Tuesday?
Still, nothing is yet official.