Feb 20, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) walks off of the court after suffering an apparent injury against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat's LeBron James returns to practice, should play Thursday

Miami Heat forward LeBron James injured his nose in the Heat’s 103-81 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night when he drove into the paint for a dunk and was hit in the face by Thunder big man Serge Ibaka.

James’ nose was bloodied and he did not return. He then missed the Heat’s 93-79 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon.

Luckily for the Heat, they don’t play again until Thursday night when they host the New York Knicks.

James returned to practice on Tuesday, but was “off limits during the Heat’s full-contact portions of scrimmage work” according to Michael Wallace of ESPN.com.

“Every day is better,” James said. “It’s getting better, but I haven’t been hit on it, either. It’s too soon, but I think I should be fine enough to go on Thursday. It’s only Tuesday, so we’ve got a lot of time.”

James, who is averaging 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game, will wear a mask Wednesday at practice and plans to play Thursday night.

Tags: Lebron James Miami Heat New York Knicks

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