The injury bug that has plagued the Cleveland Cavaliers entering this season comes with both good and bad news on Saturday.
The bad news being is that forward LeBron James is questionable for the team’s Sunday afternoon contest at Quicken Loans Arena against the Indiana Pacers with a sore thigh. However, the good news is that guard J.R. Smith is expected to play after missing the previous two contests with a bruised knee and quad tendinitis.
That news came via a tweet from Cleveland Plain Dealer beat writer Chris Haynes:
Blatt says LeBron James (leg) rested at practice. He'll see how he feels tomorrow. Also J.R. Smith expected to play Sunday against Pacers.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 7, 2015
James went down during the second half of the Cavs’ 108-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on a drive to the basket. That fall was the result of being kneed in the thigh, which caused a temporary delay in the contest.
After staying in to play, James’ thigh began stiffening up after a while, which resulted in Cleveland head coach David Blatt removing him from the game. Blatt said after the game that James would only have re-entered if the game remained in question, but the Sixers never got any closer than the six-point final margin.
Instead of practicing with the team, James received treatment on his thigh from the team’s medical staff, but Smith did compete and showed no lingering effects from his health issues. Smith’s return to the lineup will help the team’s already-depleted backcourt that has been able to overcome the multiple absences of key players to win five of their first six contests.
After Sunday’s game, the Cavaliers will host the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, with tip-off set for just after 7 p.m. ET. Following that clash, the team will begin a three-game road trip.