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LeBron James Making Progress In Recovery; Out Sunday Versus Kings

LeBron James will likely make good on last week’s hopes that he’d return during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ ongoing Western Conference road trip. It just won’t be on Sunday against the Sacramento Kings.

The four-time MVP re-joined his team in San Francisco on Friday for the Cavaliers’ contests versus the nearby Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. And despite getting casual shots up the day of and after Cleveland’s Friday night loss to Golden State, James will not play today in Sacramento.

Here’s Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group:

Coach David Blatt said yesterday that his superstar is progressing in return from knee and back strains. Does that mean LeBron could return before the January 15 projection against the Los Angeles Lakers? Cleveland is unwilling to commit either way:

“We’re just going to continue the process, gradually get him moving again, and work him him back slowly into a full practice,” Blatt said. “Still not there yet. But he is coming along well.”

There’s no sense in rushing James back before he’s made a full recovery. The Cavaliers have dropped six of their seven games without him, but are in no real danger of missing the playoffs given the weak Eastern Conference middle class.

But LeBron is clearly itching to play again, and surely in the ears of Cleveland trainers, coaches, and management about returning for Tuesday’s game versus the Phoenix Suns. It’s likely that his practice work load will increase between now and then, too – how his body reacts to more activity will likely be the deciding factor on his playing status.

Whether James plays against Phoenix in two days or the Lakers in four, we’re certainly excited to watch him again. Something has been off with LeBron – despite his awesome play relative to league peers – this season, and it stands to reason that nagging knee and back pain could be the cause of it.

Fully healthy, might we see James play to his reputation as the game’s preeminent finisher and most versatile defender? We certainly hope so. The Cavs undoubtedly do, too.

What do you think?

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