LeBron James Injury: Updates on Heat Star's Knee

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 09:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat walks gingerly after injuring himself on a charge against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 9, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Thought to be an unstoppable juggernaut, the Miami Heat may have been dealt a season-crushing blow on Friday night.

Playing against the Atlanta Hawks, forward LeBron James had a knee-on-knee collision with Josh Smith and was taken to the locker room, according to ESPN's Tom Haberstroh:


Replay shows LeBron with a knee-on-knee collision with Josh Smith, whom also went to the locker room.

— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) November 10, 2012


UPDATE: Friday, November 9 at 8:58 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Miami fans may be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as James has headed back onto the court for the second half, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:


LeBron heading out for start of secondhalf.

— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) November 10, 2012


---End of Update---

While the extent of James' injury is not known at this time, it goes without saying the Heat are in dire straits if he's out an extended period of time. The three-time NBA MVP has been having a scintillating season thus far, averaging 22.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

More importantly, he's fully embraced playing a power forward role a majority of the time. With Chris Bosh having to play out of position at center, James has made a concerted effort to stick in the post and grab rebounds.

That has shown in the early going, as the defending NBA champions have roared out to a 4-1 start. Now the team must wait to get test results back on its superstar's leg. 

Any injury that keeps James out of the lineup for an extended period of time could wind up being the difference between a repeat championship and bitter disappointment for the Heat.