James sustained broken nose last week, likely to wear protective mask.
Miami Heat star LeBron James resumed practice on Tuesday and has revealed that he is hopeful of returning to action against the New York Knicks on Thursday night.
The 29-year-old was off limits during the Heat’s full-contact aspects of scrimmage work, but told reporters that he is not ruling out the possibility to facing the Knicks.
James suffered a broken nose after taking a hit to the face during the win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last week, and was forced to miss the Chicago Bulls game on Sunday.
It has been confirmed that he has been fitted with a protective mask, and he will wear it in games for the next few weeks to protect his nose.
“Every day is better,” James said, as reported by ESPN.
“It’s getting better, but I haven’t been hit on it, either. It’s too soon, but I think I should be fine enough to go on Thursday. It’s only Tuesday, so we’ve got a lot of time.”
It is understood that James will test the mask during practice on Wednesday, before being evaluated by the medical staff ahead of Thursday’s game as he has stated that he doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with having to wear a mask whilst he is playing.
The Heat star is currently enjoying one of the more productive stretches of his season thus far, shooting 61.3 percent from the field and averaging 37 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.3 steals in his past four games.
Miami have also won eight of their last nine as they close the gap to the Indiana Pacers to just two games at the top of the Eastern Conference, but coach Erik Spoelstra will be keen on having his influential leader back on the court as soon as possible.