INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James and the Cavaliers are battling a new nemesis: the flu.
James took part in shootaround on Wednesday after missing Tuesday's practice with flu-like symptoms and the superstar is expected to play against the Utah Jazz.
"Been better, I'm all right," James, still looking sick and speaking softly, told reporters following the workout. The Cavs are listing him as probable as they prepare to host the Jazz.
While James returned, the bug hit All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who stayed home to rest with the same flu-like issues. A team spokesman said Irving remains probable to play against Utah as the Cavs try to extend their winning streak to four.
The Cavs are just not the same without James, going just 1-8 this season with him on the sideline. While James spent nearly two weeks recovering from a strained back and neck, the Cavs were only 1-7. But since James came back looking more refreshes and energized, the Cavs have gone 3-1 and are beginning to resemble a team expected to contend for an NBA title.
The last time the Cavs played the Jazz, Utah forward Gordon Hayward hit a buzzer-beating shot to beat Cleveland 102-100. Hayward got open when James slipped while guarding him on the inbounds pass.
A few days later, Hayward took a swipe at James on his blog, saying the four-time league MVP "can't bully me as much as he used to, and I'm able to stand my ground against him."
James dismissed the comments Wednesday.
"I don't remember me ever pushing him around in the past," James said. "I don't use a one-on-one matchup against anyone. I play the team game, I just try to win ball games. It's not about me and Gordon Hayward. If it made him feel better by saying that, good for him, but I don't really care about that stuff."