The injury comes at a time when James is in the midst of perhaps his most productive stretch since he joined the Heat before the 2010-11 season. He had 33 points and seven rebounds in Thursday's 103-81 win against the Thunder despite leaving the game with about six minutes to play.
During the Heat's four-game winning streak, James has shot 61.3 percent from the field and has averaged 37 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.3 steals. James said it would be difficult to adjust to wearing a mask if required. He also didn't believe Ibaka intentionally hit him in the face on the play, but that a foul should have been called.
James said coming back immediately from the broken nose presents a different challenge than when he quickly returned from the fractured cheekbone a decade ago.
"I was a 19-year-old recovering compared with a 29-year-old recovering -- and it's been a long time since I was 19," said James, who could get an entire week of rest if he sits out Sunday and returns Thursday against New York. "I'll get back on the floor. If it's not (Sunday), then I'll get prepared for Thursday."