After falling at the final hurdle last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping that the 2015-16 campaign will end with their first ever Championship.
Keeping LeBron James fit, healthy and on the court will be essential if the Ohio franchise is to achieve that goal. So, when reports this week revealed he had received an anti-inflammatory injection in his back before the season was even underway, concern was inevitable.
Thankfully, though, although James has been shut down for the Cavaliers' final preseason games, head coach David Blatt has now emphatically confirmed the four-time NFL MVP will start the team's season-opener.
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“I would say he will absolutely be ready for the season opener,” said Blatt, via ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin.
With Kyrie Irving out of the game and Kevin Love, the final member of Cleveland's very own 'Big Three', only recently returning to the court after a long layoff through injury, being without James would have been a blow.
Of course, there are 81 other regular-season games to follow Cleveland's visit to Chicago on October 28 so missing LeBron for one fixture wouldn't spell disaster for Blatt and co.
Setting the tone
But, with Cleveland wanting to make a much faster start than they did last season, having their talisman in the lineup and firing on all cylinders from game one is a big boost.
LeBron came close to almost single-handedly bringing a title to his home state back in June, and it doesn't sound like any lingering injuries are going to keep him from laying down a marker against the Cavs' biggest Eastern Conference rivals.
Is LeBron James still the best player in the NBA? Have your say in the comments below...