Sportress of Blogitude

LeBron James on his health this season: ‘I haven’t felt great all year’

LeBron James admitted Wednesday before sitting out his sixth straight game that he hasn’t felt truly healthy all season.

“I haven’t felt great all year,” James said, via Bleacher Report. “I’ve had spurts where one or two games I felt good, and after that, I was just pushing through it, just being the competitive guy I am and wanting to be out there for my teammates. I feel better right now than I [have] for the majority of the season.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, who has been relegated to wearing street clothes on the Cavs bench since his last appearance on Dec. 28 due to both back and knee strains, said he is responding well to treatment and expects to return to the lineup sometime next week.

James said that in the end he had no choice but to listen to his body and shut it down.

“I just finally listened to my body, ultimately,” James said. “I was affecting my game. And once I see my game being affected by my stubbornness, I had to just look myself in the mirror and understand I had to do something that was best for me as well. It was one of the hardest, one of the smartest, decisions I’ve made.”

James dropped a significant amount of weight during the offseason after cutting carbs and making several other modifications to his diet. Whether or not his nagging injuries are related to his leaner frame is purely speculative at best, but his build and physique was noticeably different heading into the regular season.

James so far this season has been mostly in line with previous years of his career, at least when measured statistically. He is averaging 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists, well in range of his career averages while playing a similar amount of minutes per game (37.5). But observers have noticed that he hasn’t seen quite himself so far this season, perhaps from trying to do too much on the court as the Cavs as a whole have struggled to both gel and consequently win much more than was expected.

Still, following Wednesday’s 105-93 loss to the Houston Rockets, the Cavaliers are 1-5 during James’ absence and are 19-17 on the season. While the team clearly isn’t tearing it up on the court, it remains in the thick of the playoff chase, meaning James arguably should be afforded some time to get his overall health headed in the right direction. Just not too long.

(photo credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)