LeBron James Injury: Tyronn Lue 'Doesn't Know' If Star Will Play vs. Celtics

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on while playing the Chicago Bulls during a pre season game at Quicken Loans Arena on October 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said on Monday that he "really doesn't know" if LeBron James will be able to play in the team's season opener against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports.

Lue added that he's preparing as though James will be able to play, however, per Jason Lloyd of The Athletic.

James is reportedly still dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of the team's first three preseason games, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press. Per that report, James tested the ankle during Sunday's practice while also going through a cardio workout and treatment.

"He's got to see how it feels," Lue noted Sunday. "Getting treatment, work it the right way and see what happens."

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today shared video of James practicing on Monday: 

As for the lingering aspect of James' ankle injury—the superstar returned to game action last week against the Chicago Bulls but potentially aggravated the injury in the process—Lue didn't seem overly concerned.

"He's getting older, like me," Lue joked. "It's something that he's been trying to work on. He tried to come back and play and he might have tweaked it on that spin move, and that could have set him back a little bit."

Tuesday night's opener against the Celtics was particularly intriguing given the return of Kyrie Irving to Cleveland after the team traded him this offseason. Much of the narrative regarding that trade centered on the relationship between James and Irving—and how Irving's trade request may have fractured that relationship—so James' absence Tuesday night would certainly remove a compelling piece of drama from the beginning of the NBA season.