LeBron James (back, knee) on track for return next week

Thursday January 8th, 2015

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James said he is responding well to treatment for his strained back and knee and is expected to return to the lineup soon.

James has missed the last six games and will miss at least one more week of action. Cleveland is 1-5 without James, including a 105-93 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

James said that the injuries were affecting the way he played and he knew he had to rest and "understand I have to do what's best for me."

"I haven't felt great all year," James said, according to the Associated Press. "I’ve had spurts where one or two games I felt good and after that I was just pushing through it."

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The Cavaliers start a five-game West Coast trip on Friday and James intends to make the trip with the team. He could possibly return on Jan. 15.

While James has been injured, the team traded for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks and sent guard Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City. The team also surrendered two first-round picks to the Denver Nuggets for center Timofey Mozgov, after Anderson Varejao was lost for the rest of the season because of an Achilles injury.

The four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game for Cleveland, which is 19-17 this season.

"We won't start from scratch. We don't have time to start from scratch, but it is still a process," James said.

- Scooby Axson

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