James expects to rejoin Heat lineup Thursday
MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James is taking part in non-contact drills and says he should be able to play on Thursday for the Miami Heat against the New York Knicks.
James missed Sunday’s victory over the Chicago Bulls after breaking his nose in the previous game. On Tuesday, he dispensed with the bandage he wore late last week and said his headaches have subsided. But he’s not yet ready for contact drills and still in a little pain while the nose heals.
Sunday’s game was only the second James has missed this season. The Heat improved to 2-0 without him, but he didn’t enjoy watching from the bench.
“It was terrible,” he said. “I was happy we got the win, but I hate sitting out.”
He’s not looking forward to wearing a mask, either. He has experience, because he broke his cheek while with the Cleveland Cavaliers 10 years ago and wore a mask then.
“It’s a difficult challenge,” James said. “It’s like somebody constantly has a hand in your face. It’s like an added defender you definitely don’t want.”
He did a lot of running and other conditioning Tuesday, worked with his teammates on offensive sets and shot baskets. How did he look?
“The same,” Chris Bosh said. “He can break anything, and he’ll still look the same. That’s why he’s LeBron.”