LeBron James aggravates ankle injury; opener against Celtics in doubt

LeBron James blames himself for Cavaliers' preseason loss vs Bulls

After being sidelined for much of training camp with a sprained left ankle, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James made his preseason debut Tuesday night against the Chicago Bulls.

Cavaliers coach Tyron Lue has said that, because of James' injury, it remains unclear if he can participate in the team's opening game for the 2017-2018 National Basketball Association season, where they will be going against the Boston Celtics, which will feature former Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who was traded to his new team only last month.

In his first pre-season game coming off an ankle injury, James scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists in 30 minutes. "I just wanted to try and test my foot, test my ankle to see how I would come out tonight". Smith learned this week that he was headed to the bench so Dwyane Wade could start at shooting guard, but Lue's plan as of Wednesday was for James to sit in Orlando and for Smith to start in his place.

"No. I told you it wasn't 100 percent the other day", James said.

As the Cleveland Cavaliers' opening game will also be devoid of Isaiah Thomas, who was traded by the Boston Celtics to the Cleveland Cavaliers in favor of Irving, because of his hip injury, some opine that the opening game will be lackluster with James' absence, too. The team held an extended practice Wednesday looking to right the ship, even without James.

Smith said he "kind of knew it" was coming with Wade.

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For now, James' injury will prevent the Cavs from working out their offensive kinks.

The Cavs All-Star will also miss Thursday's practice, Lue said.

"It's a challenge when you've got a new team and you want to incorporate stuff, but you don't want to go too fast, you don't want to go too slow".

"I actually like playing on the second unit better, I'm more of a playmaker and distributor and I handle the ball a little bit more instead of just running to the corner", Smith said at the time.

There's a chance James could miss the regular-season opener, something that has never happened in his 14 previous seasons, but a lot could change in the next few days.

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