Cleveland Cavaliers: Old Man LeBron Limps toward the Finish Line

Sean StancillSenior Writer IApril 8, 2008

LeBron James is arguably the best, most explosive player in the Eastern Conference, and possibly the MVP of the NBA. But can you add injury prone to that list?

I believe you can. No. 23 has played in 70 games to date this season—an improvement over previous years. I know that every star gets hurt, but come on now! Take a look at the list of injuries LeBron has suffered since he came into the league.


April 2, 2008:  back spasms

January 31, 2008:  sprained right ankle

November 29, 2007:  sprained left index finger

April 2, 2007:  right knee tendonitis

March 13, 2007:  back spasms

January 30,2007:  sore right toe

January 26,2007:  sore right toe

December 28, 2007: broken nose


With all of these injuries, and especially the back spasms, is there a player King James resembles? Tracy McGrady, perhaps? He is a player with all the talent in the world, but always, through rain or shine, he manages to find some way to get hurt.

Reoccurring back spasms have hampered T-Mac in each of the last three years. Last year, LeBron supposedly grew an inch because of the spasms.

The Cavs definitely need a healthy LeBron to make a deep push into the playoffs. Without him, they're a poor man's version of the '04-'05 Los Angeles Lakers.

Currently, Cleveland holds the fourth spot in the East, but only by a slim, two-game margin, with the Washington Wizards lurking in ninth. There's no way they can make a reach to catch Dwight Howard and friends in Orlando, as the Magic hold the third spot with a seven-game lead and few games remaining.

The spasms have caused James to miss the team's last two practices, and may cause him to miss some of Cleveland's final regular season games.

If LeBron does return to action, his goal will certainly be to keep the Cavaliers in that fourth position and, possibly, to retain home court advantage in the postseason.

The Cavaliers would likely face a depleted Washington team, instead of Orlando, who recently beat the Cavs at home on Sunday. In that game, Dwight Howard managed to clobber LeBron, forcing him out of the game at times.

The back spasms flared up against Charlotte and Chicago.