Ankle forces Cavs' James into resting to sit out practice, rest ankle

The 19-year-old may miss a few games to make sure his ankle is OK.


Published: Monday, January 19, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 19, 2004 at 3:14 a.m.
CLEVELAND - Cavaliers rookie LeBron James will be kept out of practice today to rest his sprained right ankle, which he injured in a win over Utah.
James got hurt Saturday night when he rolled his ankle after missing a layup in the final seconds of regulation in Cleveland's 102-96 overtime win against the Jazz.
X-rays taken Sunday were negative when James was re-evaluated by team doctors after the Cavaliers returned from Utah. A Cavs spokesman said an MRI was not performed.
The team said James will not practice today and it will be a game-time decision if the 19-year-old star plays Tuesday night when the Cavs host the Seattle SuperSonics - the first of five straight home games for Cleveland.
In all likelihood, James will miss a few games to make sure his ankle is 100 percent. Earlier this season, Cleveland forward Carlos Boozer missed six games with a sprained ankle.
James, averaging 20.4 points per game, had scored 27 points with seven rebounds when he landed awkwardly after attempting a driving layup from the left side with 12 seconds to play.
Despite not having James for the five-minute OT, the Cavs, who trailed by 18 points at halftime, beat the Jazz for just their fourth road win this season.
The Cavaliers hadn't won in Utah since 1989, a span of 13 games.
In obvious pain, the No. 1 overall draft pick stayed on the baseline for a few moments before being helped to his feet. He was unable to put any weight on his right foot and needed teammates to carry him to the Cavs' locker room.
James left the Delta Center on crutches with the ankle heavily taped.
The 6-foot-8, 240-pounder never missed a high school game because of injury, but he did break his wrist during a summer AAU game in Chicago before his junior year.
James, who has started all 40 games this season, isn't the only Cleveland player whose status is uncertain for Tuesday's game.
Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas faces a probable suspension from the NBA for fighting with Utah's Greg Ostertag on Saturday. The two big men squared off and exchanged a few harmless punches in the third quarter after tangling near the basket. Both were ejected.
Also, the Cavs could be without Boozer, who scored a career-high 32 points - 21 after halftime - in Saturday's win. Boozer dedicated his performance to his deceased grandmother, who died on Friday. Boozer may leave the Cavs for a funeral, a team spokesman said.

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