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Friday, December 14, 2012
LeBron James nursing shoulder

By Michael Wallace
ESPN.com

MIAMI -- LeBron James sat out the Miami Heat's practice Friday with a bruised shoulder but is expected to play in Saturday's game against the Washington Wizards.

James, the league's three-time Most Valuable Player, banged his shoulder during a hard fall when he was fouled by David Lee in Wednesday's loss against Golden State. Lee was assessed a flagrant foul on the play, and James remained in the game, finishing with 31 points.

James has received extensive treatment on his shoulder the past two days, and said he was still dealing with some soreness after the initial numbness subsided.

"It's a little banged up," said James, who injured the shoulder earlier this season but has played through the pain. "That fall (Wednesday) definitely didn't help the cause."

The Heat have lost three of their past five games, and used Friday's practice to try to bounce back from the loss to the Warriors. Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who suffered a strained neck after a collision with teammate Mario Chalmers during the game, said he also was feeling better Friday and also expected to play.

James, who has played through several nagging injuries this season, jokingly referred to himself as Wolverine, the Marvel Comics' X-Men character, for his ability to quickly recover from falls and continue to play. But it's not something he wants to continue to grow accustomed to this season.

"We don't want to keep (having) to get back up after those falls," James said. "To be able to get back up from them is the physical nature of it. But we don't want to keep having them. I guess my body is able to recover faster than other guys. I guess I've got that Wolverine trait. It heals right up."

James is averaging 25.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 20 games this season.