CLEVELAND --LeBron James says his sprained left ankle -- swollen, sore and stiff -- won't keep him out of the playoffs.
He spent most of Monday getting treatment after twisting his
ankle Sunday during the third quarter of Cleveland's 97-82 win over
Washington in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series.
James inadvertently stepped on the right foot of Wizards forward
Etan Thomas, who was defending him on a drive. James, despite
extreme initial pain, stayed in the game and finished with 23
points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
The 22-year-old star said there's no doubt he'll be ready
Wednesday for Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.
"It's OK," James said. "It's what I expected, soreness and
stiffness. If we had a game today [Monday] I'd definitely be able
to play, so I'm headed in the right direction."
James wasn't favoring the ankle as he walked out of Quicken
Loans Arena following the Cavs' light workout.
He chose not to lift weights or participate in any shooting
drills with his teammates, instead staying mostly in the trainer's
After he made a 10-foot jumper and landed on Thomas, James
crumpled to the floor with 8:03 left in the third quarter. He sat
up and slapped his hand on the court as many Cleveland fans gasped.
Was he worried he might be done for the game?
"Yeah," he said. "Anytime you turn your ankle, especially
since I've sat out a couple games of my career because of ankle
injuries, so there was definitely a time where I thought, 'Why
now?' I'm finally 100 percent healthwise and I turn my ankle, so I
kind of go back down to 80 [percent] again."
Cavaliers trainer Max Benton said James said the primary
treatment is to reduce swelling.
In his two previous seasons, James has missed three games when
he sprained the same ankle. This season, he sat out two games with
a sprained toe, missed one with back spasms and another with right
He said this ankle injury isn't as serious as some others he's
had, adding that it feels better when he's moving on it than when
he's not playing.
James watched a replay of the injury, but isn't planning on
"I've seen it once," he said. "I don't need to see it