Thursday , Dec , 30 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Facing the pain: LeBron has fractured cheekbone

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Cleveland Cavaliers guard LeBron James will
celebrate a painful 20th birthday after suffering a broken bone in the left
side of his face during Wednesday night’s loss to Houston.

James, who turned 20 on Thursday, also sustained a mild concussion after
colliding with Rockets veteran center Dikembe Mutombo late in the first half.
James ran into Mutombo in the lane with 1:53 left in the second quarter.

Mutombo’s elbow inadvertently caught the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year in
the eye, and James had to be helped off the court and to the locker room. He
did not return and the Cavs eventually lost the game, 98-87.

James will wear a mask to protect his face, and it is unclear whether he
will miss any games since Cleveland doesn’t play until Monday, January 3
versus the Charlotte Bobcats.

The second-year phenom scored a career-low three points in 17 minutes against
the Rockets and is averaging 24.4 points, 7.2 assists and 7.0 rebounds in
29 games this season.