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LeBron expects to play Thursday against Knicks

<p>Miami Heat forward LeBron James took part in the non-contact portion of practice Tuesday and expects to be in the lineup for Thursday's game against the New York Knicks as he recovers from a broken nose.</p>

Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Miami Heat forward LeBron James took part in the non-contact portion of practice Tuesday and expects to be in the lineup for Thursday's game against the New York Knicks as he recovers from a broken nose.

James was hurt in the latter stages of last Thursday's win over Oklahoma City when he was hit by Thunder forward Serge Ibaka on a drive to the basket. He sat out Sunday's game against Chicago, but was back on the court with his teammates Tuesday.

"Everyday is getting better and better," said James on Tuesday. "I haven't been hit on (the nose), so that helps. I feel like I should be well enough to go Thursday, but we'll see. It's only Tuesday, we have a lot of time."

The four-time MVP said he would "definitely" wear a mask if he plays against the Knicks.

Miami didn't have much problem without James on Sunday, defeating the Bulls by a 93-79 margin to extend its winning streak to five games.

James owns team-highs with 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists in 52 games this season.

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