Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James playing against Washington Wizards despite eye injury

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James has never looked like this.

Briefly sporting googles to protect an eye injury, James is playing against the Washington Wizards on Saturday night after having his right cornea scratched during Friday’s win at Charlotte. The Cavs listed him as questionable before announcing about two hours before tip-off that he would face the Wizards. James got poked in the eye in the third quarter by the Hornets’ Jeremy Lamb but stayed in the game.

The NBA champions are 0-6 when James does not play.

James took the floor wearing glasses and played much of the first quarter before tossing them aside.

James’ injury had given the Cavs a legitimate chance to rest their superstar as the regular season winds down and they get ready for the playoffs. The team drew heavy criticism last week for resting James and fellow All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for a nationally televised game in Los Angeles.

That decision prompted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to send a letter to team owners, saying the trend to rest starters is “an extremely significant issue for our league.”

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue wasn’t surprised James would play with his eye swollen.

“It’s a physical game,” Lue said. “It’s a contact sport and you’re going to get hit and he always gets up, so it doesn’t surprise he’s playing again. He’s one of the toughest players we got in this league.”