LeBron has elbow strain, bone bruise

Updated: April 29, 2010, 8:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James shot left-handed layups and short jumpers at practice Thursday, but the Cavaliers superstar is not expected to miss any of Cleveland's playoff games because of his strained right elbow and bone bruise.

James was re-examined Wednesday night by team doctors, who took more X-rays and an MRI exam that revealed the strain and a bruised bone near the elbow. James was not wearing a padded sleeve over the elbow at practice Thursday but acknowledged it was more of a film session than a physical practice. He did sit out one portion of contact drills.

"The best thing about it is there's no structural damage," he said. "The docs have given me clearance that I can't hurt it worse. ... Maybe it's a strain in the muscle or the tendon."

James will have daily treatments and another MRI exam next week. The NBA's MVP has been wearing a sleeve over his elbow, which has been bothering him for weeks. He said his elbow occasionally goes numb, but it will not require surgery to repair.

"We're just being very precautious right now," James said. "I didn't do much shooting."

The Cavs eliminated the Chicago Bulls in five games in the opening round and begin their best-of-seven series against the Boston Celtics on Saturday. James said if the elbow affects his ability to shoot, he'll have to adjust his game plan.

"If I am limited during the game, then I'll be smart about it," James said. "That's what I was able to do in Game 5 [against Chicago]. I was very limited in shooting long-range shots, so I started going to the hole in the fourth quarter."

The Celtics were preparing for James to be in MVP form.

"LeBron with a bad elbow is still better than 95 percent of the league," Celtics captain Paul Pierce said. "So it doesn't matter."

When a new pack of reporters wandered over and repeated the query, Pierce reiterated: "I'm treating it like he's 100 percent."

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg and The Associated Press was used in this report.

EDITORS' PICKS

ALSO SEE