LeBron James has already logged a lot of mileage in his NBA career. In his 12 years in the league, James, 30, has played in 911 regular-season games and another 172 in the postseason, not to mention all of the international play he's participated in for Team USA during the offseason.
The heavy work load didn't keep James off the court much through his first 11 seasons, in which he missed no more than seven regular-season games. But his return to Cleveland also marked the first time James dipped below 70 games played in a non-lockout season.
And the postseason has only added to the list of nagging injuries affecting the four-time MVP as he heads into his sixth NBA Finals appearance.
In addition to the high-powered Golden State Warriors, here's a look at all that James must overcome to win his third championship ring:
Amid the Cavaliers' 12-game win steak, James collided with the Pistons’ Jodie Meeks and broke his fall with both wrists, causing a sprain. Most of the damage was to his right wrist, and it caused him to miss the next game. He has been getting steady treatment on it since and had it wrapped during workouts leading up to the NBA Finals.
In the third quarter of Game 4 of the Cavs' second-round series against the Chicago Bulls, James badly rolled his left ankle as he tried to avoid Derrick Rose. He ran into Rose, got called for an offensive foul and ended up needing help off the court. After watching the video later, James said: “I don’t know how I stayed in the game.” He treated it for several weeks afterward.
In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals in Atlanta, James twisted his right ankle on a camera man sitting on the sidelines as he chased a loose ball. James limped for several possessions following the play and received treatment on the ankle for the rest of the series.
James has been battling lower back soreness for nearly a decade now and has used numerous treatments to deal with it. He has tried everything from stretching and yoga to weight loss to heating pads before, during and after games. Part of his two-week hiatus near midseason was to take stress off his sore back after being diagnosed with a lower-back strain. He didn’t attend games because getting up from the low courtside seats bothered him.
James has dealt with cramping issues on a handful of occasions during his career. They seem to especially affect his thighs -- the classic “charley horse” that makes it hard to run. He battled another case of them in Game 3 of the conference finals against the Hawks and at one point asked to come out of the game during overtime before changing his mind. Avoiding cramps and getting hydration is a significant part of James’ preparations during the postseason.
For years James has been wary of wear and tear on his knees and he became devoted to preventative maintenance programs, including using devices to improve circulation and recovery in his legs. This season was the first time in his career he had to miss games because of a knee issue, in this case his left knee. It flared up several times early in the season and he eventually got an MRI on the knee in December that showed a strain. He has been seen getting treatment on the knee during the playoffs.