Elbowgate Continues: Does LeBron Have a Torn Ligament in his Elbow?
Just when I think I'm out, this story pulls me back in. After reading that LeBron's injury situation was more serious than reported, King James blew up in game three and temporarily put those rumours to rest. Game four saw a slight drop-off for the Akron Hammer (I'm still rooting for that nickname), but there was nothing in his near-triple-double performance to suggest severe damage to his shooting arm.
Then last night happened. In 41:40 of mopey, disinterested basketball in which LeBron looked like a recalcitrant teenager reluctantly doing his chores, the basketball world's focus turned back to LBJ's janky elbow. While 'Bron brushed it off as a rare blip on a seven-year timeline of elite performances, we - the fans, the media, and everyone else with an opinion - kept talking. In yet another twist this morning, fearthesword.com, one of the web's premier Cavs blogs, fanned the flames with a quote from what they deemed a trustworthy source:
LeBron has a torn ligament in his elbow that should keep him out 6 to 8 weeks. He's trying to play through it and not complain, so the media doesn't know it's that serious. Before game 4 he had a shot in the elbow to numb it. You can only get the shot once every 10 days, so last night he couldn't do it.
If the above is true, what is LeBron looking to accomplish by trying, with mixed results, to battle through an injury that would send most players to the sideline for the better part of two months? Forgive me for funneling every discussion towards the upcoming summer of signings, but could it be a hint that he's fixing to pack his bags and wave goodbye to Ohio? If LeBron James really has decided that he'll be switching the wine-and-gold for a different outfit, he definitely wouldn't want to spend his final days as a Cavalier watching the franchise that raised him fade to black in the second round. A shot to the elbow to ease the pain would give him a chance to keep Cleveland's championship hopes alive, and even in the event of failure he could go out knowing he went down fighting. Right now, though, it doesn't look as if LeBron is fighting at all.
Of course, this is all unsubstantiated speculation for now. Until we know exactly what's wrong with the most important bony hinge in sports, we can only guess at what's happening in LeBron's arm, his head and his future.
Let us know what you think of this rumour and its possible implications if true by leaving a comment below.
Update: Brian Windhorst tweeted this quote from LeBron:
"The elbow is an issue I'll deal with in the offseason."
Rest? Physical therapy? Surgery?