LeBron James injury update: Cavs star could miss season opener against Boston

By @saihoops on
LeBron James injury update
Oct 10, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls guard Paul Zipser (16) during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Ken Blaze

LeBron James, widely hailed as the best player of his generation, could miss the opening game of the 2017-18 NBA season due to an ankle injury, according to reports. The Cleveland Cavaliers will face arch rivals Boston Celtics on Oct. 17 in a game that is touted as a grudge match between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

James and Irving, who helped the Cavs win a championship in 2016, reportedly had a falling out in the offseason which led to the latter being traded to Boston. Though Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has yet to provide an official update on James' injury, several media outlets believe the team might rest its franchise star.

“Not sure (if James will play against Boston). (He) got treatment all day today (Wednesday), so I’m not sure if we should be concerned or not. But it’s pretty sore today so we’ll just see what happens. (He is) pretty mad, pretty pissed off. But I mean, it is what it is,” Lue told reporters after Cleveland's scrimmage at the Quicken Loans Arena.

The four-time MVP has taken the court only once in the ongoing NBA preseason - on Tuesday evening when the Cavs fell 108-94 to the Chicago Bulls. James had 17 points but also registered eight turnovers. James reportedly aggravated his ankle as the Cavs unveiling a brand-new starting line-up featuring James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder and Kevin Love. All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas is expected to take Rose's place upon returning from hip injury.

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James, entering the season as the odds-on favourite to win his fifth MVP award, did not speak to reporters following Wednesday’s practice session. Confirming that veteran sharpshooter JR Smith will return to the starting line up to take James' place, Lue said the Cavs will be extra careful in handling injuries.  

“It’s a challenge when you’ve got a new team and you want to incorporate stuff, but you don’t want to go too fast, you don’t want to go too slow. You want to see what works. So, we kind of scrapped some of the stuff we’ve been doing and we’re going to just go in a different direction offensively with that first unit,” Lue added.

The 2017-18 NBA season kicks off on Tuesday, Oct. 17, with opening night matches pitting defending champions Golden State Warriors against Houston Rockets, besides an Eastern Conference finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. Stay tuned for the latest LeBron James injury update.