LeBron James' rehab process to deal with back and knee strains has focused on getting him into the best places to heal. That included a stay in Miami to take advantage of warmer weather this week, sources told ESPN.com.
Cleveland Cavaliers doctors advised James not to attend games over the past week because "continuous sitting" on the bench would be bad for his back, coach David Blatt said.
For this reason, James was excused from team activities and did not attend road trips in Charlotte and Philadelphia and a home game against the Dallas Mavericks.
"That was by design," Blatt said. "He hasn't been around per orders of the doctor."
James spent part of that time doing rehab at the Cavs' practice facility but also spent time this week in Miami. Spending time in the warmer weather was deemed healthy for James' back. James said he was having rehab sessions three to four times a day during the past week.
He said the weather is part of the reason he is going on the Cavs' western road trip that begins Friday in Golden State even though he could be out another week.
"It helps that we're going to some warmer cities, so my body could use that as well," James said Wednesday upon returning to the team after being away. "It's difficult for sure, not being with the guys, and me being a team guy, and a camaraderie guy, it was difficult for sure."
James did not sit on the bench during the Cavs' loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Earlier he received a re-evaluation from team doctors that showed progress in his recovery.
"I'm on a program right now. I feel good. Week 1 is complete and I got one more left, they say," James said. "If everything continues to go well, I'm on target, I'm on pace, I'm feeling better every day."
James, who has missed the past six games, hasn't done any basketball activities as he's focused on healing the left knee and lower-back issues that have slowed him throughout the season. The Cavs are targeting next Thursday's game at the Los Angeles Lakers as a possible return date but aren't committing to it just yet.
"I hate missing games. You just look at my record and my résumé of missing games, it's been one of the toughest things for me," James said. "But I just had to listen to my body, listen to the docs, listen to my trainer, and that's what we came up with."
Information from ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin is included in this report