LeBron James injured his ankle while driving to the basket versus the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday evening but managed to tough it out and stay in the game.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Ira Winderman reported the injury:
LeBron left ankle and stays down, slipped while driving.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) March 23, 2014
Even though it doesn't sound serious, as Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick notes, that doesn't mean this is the last we'll hear about this:
Seen this before... LeBron stays in after ankle twist.., then sits next game.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 23, 2014
NBA.com shows you how the injury happened:
It takes a lot to keep James off the floor. He's also been dealing with back spasms as of late, but he only used one game to nurse himself back to health.
Skolnick commented on James' toughness as well:
LeBron limping. He will grow a new ankle now.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 23, 2014
It goes without saying how important James' health is to Miami's NBA title dreams. With the playoffs rapidly approaching, Erik Spoelstra must focus on making sure his star is well rested and ready to go.
LeBron addressed that with ESPN's Michael Wallace:
Obviously, none of us is going to be 100 percent going into the playoffs. But it is what it is. That's the team we are.
We've played a lot of basketball over the last four years. Guys have to be smart about certain situations and understand that if they can go, then go. But right now, we would rather go into the playoffs with 15 guys (full roster) instead of 13 or 12.
Averaging nearly 27 points, 6.4 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game, James, once again, finds himself in the thick of the NBA MVP race.
Miami's next two games are against Portland and Indiana, followed by contests with Detroit, Milwaukee and Toronto. If James cannot go out and play against Portland, or Indiana, Miami will have its hands full against two talented squads.
James' ankle could be much worse after slipping like he did, but it appears a crisis has been averted for the Heat.
Stay tuned for updates.