LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was injured by Houston center Dikembe Mutombo's elbow during a game Wednesday night. James said afterwards, "It was one of the hardest hits I ever took. I've never felt anything like that."
He now has to wear a face mask to protect his broken left cheek. James return is questionable for the Cavaliers next game. His coach, Paul Silas, said "It's all up to him. If he thinks he can play, he'll play. There's still a little bit of swelling, but it is down substantially." He still feels pain in his left cheek and did not have a full practice Sunday.
James said he still feels stiffness in his face and will take his time getting back into Cleveland’s starting lineup if he needs more time to heal. The Cavaliers will definitely miss him if he cannot return soon. Last year, LeBron James was pronounced NBA’s Rookie of the Year. This is his second season in the NBA and already he is proving to be a Most Valuable Player contender. He's averaging 24.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game this season.
Last season, Detroit guard Rip Hamilton wore a face mask similar to what LeBron James will wear to protect a nose broken twice. Maybe the protective mask James is going to wear will turn into good luck and lead the Cavaliers to a NBA title as the plastic shield that Hamilton wore did for him and his Detroit Pistons.