The Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd has reported that LeBron James has received an anti-inflammatory shot in his lower back, and will likely sit for the remainder of preseason.
Lloyd seemed to underplay the impact of the shot on Twitter:
Regarding LeBron, guys get shots all the time & we never know. Sounds like a bigger deal than what it really is.Should be fine for season— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) October 16, 2015
The Cavaliers have had pretty brutal health luck as of late, and as a result, the first reaction is to worry. Iman Shumpert is missing significant time, Kyrie Irving won't be ready for the regular season, we still haven't seen Kevin Love this preseason, Timofey Mozgov isn't in shape yet after offseason knee surgery and Anderson Varejao is Anderson Varejao.
That said, this is probably not too crazy of a problem in the short term. LeBron's had back issues for a little while now, and as Lloyd says, he got the same injection in January during his two-week
sabbatical recovery period. I think we remember him looking pretty good after returning from that last year, so it's not like we have to anticipate a recovery period.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst indicated that the procedure was an anticipatory one with so many Cavaliers out due to injury.
With Cavs having a depleted roster due to injuries, steps being taken to have James prepared for season. Has had these shots in back before— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) October 16, 2015
It seems like both the Cavaliers and LeBron are well aware that he's going to have to do some heavy lifting early on this season if the Cavaliers want to be effective. They're down their other primary ball handler, their most athletic big and their primary wing defender. These are important roles on a team, and LeBron is going to have to assume...well, all of them until they return.
In the long term, it's always a little scary to see the android built for basketball perfection starting to have some mechanical problems. We were lucky to have LeBron be basically healthy for the fist 30 years of his career (rough estimation) but he's accrued a lot of miles. These little treatments are probably just going to be a part of his life as a basketball player from now on, and we'll just have to get used to it.
He's still really, really good, and he should be ready to help the Cavs when the games count.