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James Ready To Play With Facemask

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MIAMI, FL - February 23: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat smiles and looks on against the Chicago Bulls at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Feb. 3, 2014.  (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – February 23: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat smiles and looks on against the Chicago Bulls at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Feb. 3, 2014. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Miami Heat

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s not quite a nose for news, but LeBron James’ nose remains in the news this week as the team prepares to face, pardon the pun, the New York Knicks on Thursday.

James’ nose was broken last week during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. LeBron was going up for a dunk and as he leaped, Serge Ibaka’s arm came down across James’ nose breaking it.

Since then, James has been out for the Heat, but did take part in non-contact drills Tuesday and said he believes he will step back into the starting lineup on Thursday.

James got rid of the bandage he wore late last week and said his headaches have subsided. But he’s not yet ready for contact drills and still in a little pain while the nose heals.

“Every day is better,” he said. “I haven’t been hit on it either. That definitely helps.”

James may try out a new protective mask in practice Wednesday and will wear it in games.

He did a lot of running and other conditioning Tuesday, worked with his teammates on offensive sets and shot baskets. How did he look?

“The same,” Chris Bosh said. “He can break anything, and he’ll still look the same. That’s why he’s LeBron.”

Sunday’s game was only the second James has missed this season. The Heat improved to 2-0 without him, but he didn’t enjoy watching from the bench.

“It was terrible,” he said. “I was happy we got the win, but I hate sitting out.”

James said a facemask will be an aggravation, but that it’s not going to change how he plays the game.

“I’ll probably be a little tentative when I first get out there, but I think I’ll get used to it.”

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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