LeBron James is a human that can bleed human blood. We discovered that this past Thursday when the once-possible-cyborg took an elbow to the nose from Serge Ibaka in the Miami Heat’s big 103-81 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA’s reigning MVP was left bleeding on the baseline and was taken back to the locker room not to return for the rest of the evening in a blowout.
In the following days, it came out that James had expectedly broken his nose and it was unsurprising that the All-Star forward sat out on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls. However, it does appear that LeBron will be back in action soon enough as he eyes a Thursday return against the New York Knicks, per Michael Wallace of ESPN’s Heat Index.
After practicing on Tuesday for the first time since the injury occurred, all signs seem to point towards James playing on Thursday. James has also already been fitted for a mask, which will make for the second time in his career that he’s had to wear such headgear as Dikembe Mutumbo broke his cheekbone back in the 2004-2005 season while James was still with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While James talked with Wallace in the report about how uncomfortable and hindering the mask can be, LeBron played quite well with the mask on the first time he was forced to wear it. In 16 games played with the mask on for the Cavs, James put up 26.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 2.1 steals in 42.2 minutes per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the floor. Considering James has only matured and become a more versatile and lethal player, don’t expect the mask to cause him to fall off too terribly much if he does indeed return on Thursday.