During the much anticipated Christmas matchup against the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James left the game during the 3rd quarter. Diagnosed with a groin strain, he did not return to the game as the Lakers proceeded to get a Christmas day win in Oakland. In 21 minutes of action, James had 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
Yahoo Sources: An initial exam on LeBron James reveals all is intact and that it’s a slight groin strain. It could have been worse.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 26, 2018
Can confirm that James’ strain seems minor and initial examinations seem to indicate he’ll be fine. He will have an MRI soon just to make sure.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 26, 2018
So what does this mean?
Given the history of how vague the Lakers’ training staff can be, it can be difficult to tell how long the King is going to be out (I’m going to school for this so I’m probably the most qualified out of everyone here at LO to talk about this). What we know for right now is that he has a groin strain. What that means is that one of his adductor muscles is partially torn. Anatomy lesson: there are multiple adductor muscles, with the Adductor Longus muscle being the most commonly injured.
- Adductor Magnus
- Adductor Longus
- Adductor Brevis
Contrary to popular belief, a strain indicates that there is some tearing of the muscle. The grade will indicate how much tearing there is. Grade 1 indicates stretching or slight tearing, Grade 2 would mean that there is more tearing and the injury is more severe, and a Grade 3 will indicate a full tear.
Of course, no one can really make much of a diagnosis for LeBron except for the team doctor and after an MRI to get a clearer image of how severe the injury is. But with what the team has said it seems as though it does not as bad as previously thought. After the injury, LeBron said that he “heard a pop” which generally indicates a fully torn muscle. Hopefully, that won’t be the case but we won’t know until the MRI.
So what about a timetable for recovery? The Lakers’ training staff generally takes a conservative approach to injuries, so there is a possibility that LeBron can miss multiple weeks. Typically with a groin injury, the recovery time can take up to 2-3 weeks up to months depending on the severity.
The Lakers’ next game is on Thursday following a back to back on Friday then another game on Sunday.
Given how integral LeBron James is to the Lakers, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat multiple games to make sure that he can make a full recovery. Considering his age as well, it’s important that they get him as healthy as possible since coming back prematurely can lead to reinjury or injury of other areas due to the fact that his body can compensate causing injuries in other areas.
For reference, Stephen Curry had a groin strain earlier this season and missed 11 games this season.
Merry Christmas Laker fans, we got a great gift in a win today and hopefully, we get even better news regarding this injury in the coming days.