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LeBron takes some teasing about his broken nose

February 23, 2014

MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James looked groggy, battled the sniffles as he spoke and wore a large bandage over the bridge of his swollen, broken nose on Saturday.

None of which stopped James’ Miami Heat teammates from ribbing him about the injury, which could keep him out of Sunday’s NBA game against the Chicago Bulls.

“Funny guys on this team, I’ll tell you,” James said, managing a chuckle.

“We got a couple of big-nose jokes in there,” teammate Chris Bosh said.

“You can’t be sensitive in this locker room. He’s still a good-looking guy. He’s still married. I don’t think his wife is going anywhere.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra said a doctor fixed James’ nose on Friday to “make it look prettier.”

James sat out practice on Saturday, although he shot some baskets and free throws on the side. He said he wouldn’t have played if there had been a game, but added he has felt better each day since breaking his nose during in Thursday’s victory at Oklahoma City. James was struck inadvertently by defender Serge Ibaka.

He hopes to improve enough to play against the Bulls, and his availability will be a game-time decision.

When asked how his nose felt, James said, “It has been better. It’s a little bit of everything — pain, headaches, whatever. I have to get past it and hopefully get better in the next day. I’m definitely not going to rush it.”

James was to be fitted for a protective mask and will likely wear it if he faces the Bulls.

“It’s nothing you want to make long-term,” James said. “It’s very uncomfortable.”

James knows from experience. He wore a mask for a few weeks 10 years ago, after he broke his cheekbone hours before his 20th birthday in a game for Cleveland against Houston.

“That was a 19-year-old recovering, compared with a 29-year-old recovering,” he said with a laugh. “It takes a little bit longer than when I was 19.”

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