LeBron expected to miss two weeks with knee, back issues

LeBron James reacts from the sidelines as the Cavaliers played the Atlanta Hawks. James has missed the last 2 Cavaliers games and will miss more.

CLEVELAND — LeBron James is expected to miss the next two weeks with left knee and low back strains, the Cavaliers announcedThursday.

James underwent a physical and an MRI after missing the last two games with knee soreness. He revealed Wednesday that the knee has been bothersome since the start of the season.

James has not played a game since turning 30 on Tuesday.

The Cavs (18-14) have lost three straight and four of their last five. Power forward Kevin Love missed the last game with back spasms, and swingman Shawn Marion has missed two straight with a sprained ankle.

Earlier, the Cavs lost starting center Anderson Varejao for the season to a torn Achilles tendon.

James is fourth in the league in minutes played (37.5 per game — and while Cavs coach David Blatt has tried to limit those minutes recently, James admitted this season, coupled with an entire career of logging heavy time, is taking a bit of a toll on his body lately.

"I’ve got 41,000 minutes in my career, including the playoffs,” James said. “You drive that car in the winter time."

The Cavs plan to treat the injuries with anti-inflammatories and rest.

They return to action Friday at Charlotte. If the two-week window holds true, James could miss up to nine games, including a five-game swing through the Western Conference.

James is averaging 25.2 points per game, the lowest since his rookie year of 2003-04. He still leads the Cavs in scoring and assists (7.6 per game), while pulling down 5.3 rebounds a night.

He currently leads the NBA in All-Star votes.