The Los Angeles Lakers have been without their superstar, LeBron James, since he went down with a groin injury against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas. While it would be better for the team to get him back sooner rather than later, it sounds like he will be out for at least another week.
James was evaluated by the team’s medical staff on Thursday. According to reports in the media, the prognosis was positive; the injury is healing. He is expected to miss at least another week before coming back—but he could miss more.
He will not be making the trip to Utah for Friday’s game against the Jazz, will miss Sunday’s home game against the Cavaliers, and will miss Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls—at least. As much as they would like him back, there is no sense in rushing him back and risking a reaggravation of the injury.
According to what a source told ESPN, James is prepared to sit out as long as it takes to get back to 100 percent before coming back.
LeBron James will miss at least three more games as he recovers from his groin injury.
He has already tied his career high with eight consecutive games missed. pic.twitter.com/U7JOILwG8p
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 11, 2019
James has not been very active on the basketball court since the injury occurred other than shooting while standing still. But after his latest evaluation, he was “cleared to increase on-court functional basketball movements,” according to a statement by the team.
So far, James has missed two weeks—eight games. In those eight, they have gone 3-5 but have won their last two. After the latest win, a 113-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night, Lakers head coach Luke Walton sounded proud of how his team was playing without James (ESPN):
“Our team has shown a lot of growth from the post-LeBron injury.”
Kyle Kuma led the way that night with a career-high 41 points.
Heading into Friday’s game against the Jazz, the Lakers have a record of 23-19 and would be the No. 8 seed if the playoffs were to start today. They have a two-game cushion over the Jazz and Sacramento Kings who are both 21-21.
While it would not be ideal, in the long run, the team would be better off without him for another week, or however long it takes to make sure he is 100 percent. That way they will have him later in the season when they need him most.