Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James received an anti-inflammatory back injection this week and will likely miss the remainder of the preseason, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst confirmed the report.
James has appeared in just two of five preseason games for the Cavaliers, who are being extremely cautious with all of their stars as they deal with injuries. Cleveland is still awaiting the return of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love from their own injuries, although the good news is Love is nearing a return and could make an appearance in the preseason.
James has had back issues the past few years, and he received a similar back injection last year when he sat out for two weeks. The four-time MVP responded well to the shot and played exceptionally well the rest of the season, and Lloyd says the plan was always for James to get another shot at some point. Doing it now before the season starts assures he’ll be ready to go when the Cavaliers open the regular season against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 27.
Cleveland is 0-5 this preseason playing with its depleted roster, which also doesn’t feature Tristan Thompson as he continues his holdout. Iman Shumpert is out with a wrist injury and Timofey Mozgov is still working his way back into shape after knee surgery.