PHOENIX (AP) — LeBron James returned to practice with his Cleveland teammates on Monday and said afterward it will be a “game-time decision” on whether he will play against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.
James has been sidelined for two weeks to rest his injured left knee.
“Hopefully my body reacts really well tomorrow,” he said. “I’m going to get some treatment. I just got some and I’m going to get some more tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.”
The Cavaliers have gone 1-7 in the four-time MVP’s absence and have dropped five in a row.
James said his time off was good “for me but not for the team.”
“We struggled and I hate seeing that and I hate seeing us not play to our ability with me sitting out,” he said.
Cleveland’s latest loss was 103-84 at Sacramento on Sunday.
“We just play well at times but we don’t sustain the effort for 48 minutes,” he said. “If a team jumps on us in any quarter, we have a tendency to kind of just — I don’t want to say give up — but kind of just let our guard down a little bit.”
The Cavaliers dropped to 19-19 with their latest loss and are sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, a half-game behind Milwaukee.
James was asked whether the 44 remaining games are enough to get the team where it needs to be for the playoffs.
“Playoffs is something we don’t need to be thinking about right now,” he said. “We’re not ready to win a seven-game series. We’re nowhere near ready to even think about the postseason with our struggles of late. We need to get back to our winning ways.”
If James doesn’t play Tuesday, Cleveland’s next game is against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Thursday night. The team concludes a five-game trip to the West against the Clippers in Los Angeles on Friday.
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