LeBron James has not been on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers in three weeks after suffering a strained groin in the team’s Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers are 3-7 in the ten games that the star forward has missed in that time, desperately needing him to fix their halfcourt offense.
On Tuesday, James went through shootaround with the team as they gear up for their next game without him, against the Chicago Bulls. According to head coach Luke Walton, it was the most James had done on the court since the injury, making him optimistic about the star’s re-evaluation scheduled for Wednesday:
Luke Walton says LeBron James shot and passed in halfcourt situations during shootaround. Walton says this is the most James has done at a shootaround since injuring his groin on Christmas. James will be re-evaluated tomorrow. https://t.co/ImbKF0UBjK
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) January 15, 2019
Luke Walton was coy when asked about the LeBron status update that’s expected tomorrow. He said he’s “optimistic about life” before adding, “I think we’ll get good news back.”
— Bill Oram (@billoram) January 15, 2019
Three weeks was about the minimum timeline for James to return from the injury so he seems to be on track. The Lakers need him back as soon as possible, but they should also keep an eye on the bigger picture. Strained muscles can linger and the Lakers would have no chance in the postseason without LeBron if he reaggravates his injury.
The Lakers have free fallen without LeBron, currently sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Utah Jazz. But James coming back sometime soon should get them back on the right path to reach the playoffs.