Despite injury, LeBron is ready for second round of NBA playoffs

Chris Beaven

A numbing sensation in his right elbow forced LeBron James to shoot a late free throw left handed Tuesday.

But the Cavs superstar insists the injury will not limit him as the Cavs move forward in the playoffs.

The Cavs advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 96-94 win over the Bulls. They will meet the Celtics in Game 1 of that series Saturday.

James insists “I’m ready, I’m healthy ... (and Cavs fans) have no reason to panic.”

Still, it’s obvious James is not 100 percent because of his right elbow.

“I don’t honestly know what’s going on,” he said. “I’ve done tests trying to figure this thing out.”

But he said an MRI and X-rays two days ago showed that “everything’s clear, no structural damage or anything.”

James described it as the numb feeling that comes after hitting your funny bone. He experienced that feeling several times Tuesday, including after hitting a foul shot with 7.8 seconds left to put the Cavs ahead, 96-92.

Knowing the Cavs had a two-possession lead, James didn’t want to risk irritating the elbow further so he attempted the second foul shot with his left hand and missed it.

“When I had to make plays offensively, I was able to do it,” said James, who had 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The history of this injury remains unclear.

“I don’t know exactly when it happened,” he said. “But it’s been going on for a few weeks and hopefully it doesn’t continue to bother me as we move on in the postseason. It bothers me more because I don’t know exactly what it is.

“We’ll figure it out. We have the best docs in Cleveland.”

James does not think it’s serious enough for him to head out of town to seek out expert opinions from around the country. And he’s ready to go against Boston.

“I don’t like to harp on injuries,” he said. “... If I’m on the court, I’m healthy.”

Canton Repository