James out of hospital after treatment for pleurisy

Updated: October 14, 2005, 8:05 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers All-Star forward LeBron James was released from the hospital Friday following a two-night stay because of a virus that caused severe pain in his chest.

James was hospitalized Wednesday for what the team initially called a strained pectoral muscle. But Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said Friday that James came down with pleurisy, an inflammation of the thin layers of tissue covering the lungs and chest cavity.

Pleurisy at a glance

 LeBron James
James

What is pleurisy?
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the lungs, with subsequent pain.

Causes
Pleurisy may develop in the presence of lung inflammation (pneumonia, tuberculosis), rheumatic diseases, chest trauma, certain cancers, and asbestos-related disease.

Symptoms
The main symptom is pain over the chest wall at the site of the inflammation. In some circumstances, the pain may be felt in the shoulder. Other symptoms include cough, fever, and malaise.

Treatment and prognosis
Treatment is directed at the underlying illness. Recovery depends on the nature of the underlying illness. Recovery from infections of all types is expected with treatment. Recovery from pleurisy caused by malignant disease depends on the type and extent of the illness.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

The 20-year-old is being treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication, and the team said it expects James to make a "quick, full recovery." James will miss the team's preseason home opener Friday night against Philadelphia, and it remains unclear when the third-year pro will return.

"We're all happy that is was nothing more than that," Ferry said following Friday's shootaround. "He's feeling better already. It's a minor thing."

After the pain in his chest worsened following practice on Wednesday, James was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic for what the team initially diagnosed as a strained chest muscle. James underwent a series of tests Thursday that all came back normal, but he was kept overnight because he had a fever.

"Yeah, I'm getting better," James, dressed in street clothes, said before joining his teammates on the bench for the club's third exhibition game.

James played in Cleveland's exhibition opener on Monday in Washington, but woke up in pain on Tuesday and was kept out of the Cavaliers' game against Boston in Pittsburgh that night. On Wednesday, James complained of pain in his chest and around his rib cage, and the Cavaliers urged him to go to the hospital to get checked out.

"We wanted to make sure, check every box and make sure he was healthy," Ferry said. "It was getting worse instead of better."

The Cavaliers have a road game in Milwaukee on Saturday, but it's doubtful James will make the trip.

"He could possibly play tomorrow, if he wants, but we'll probably end up holding him out," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "It's the preseason, the first few games really aren't important. I don't care if we win or lose preseason games. My main focus is to get guys rest."

Cavaliers guard Damon Jones, who visited James while he was in hospital, said Cleveland players were comforted by the news that James' medical condition wasn't major.

"Definitely, we're relieved," Jones said. "When we first started hearing about his discomfort we were all kind of worried. But the doctors did a great job of finding the problem and getting on top of it."

James has had a few minor injuries during his first two NBA seasons.

He has missed a total of five games because of ankle sprains, but he didn't miss any time after breaking a cheek bone last year when he was clobbered with an elbow by Dikembe Mutombo, and wore a protective mask for six weeks.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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