LeBron James’ absence from the Los Angeles Lakers has undoubtedly made a major impact on the team. They are 3-7 without their superstar forward and they have momentarily dropped out of the top eight seeds in the Western Conference.
But the injury is clearly affecting LeBron the most. The 34-year-old has never had to sit out of this many games in a row. It’s especially frustrating coming off of an 82-game season and eight straight trips to the NBA Finals.
That would take a toll on anyone, especially someone as competitive as the best player in the world but as James told Joe Vardon of The Athletic, he’s taking it in stride (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll):
“I’m handling it as well as I can,” James told The Athletic on Sunday, on his way to get in some running before the Lakers-Cavs game.
James has reached the minimum three-week timeline that was given when he first strained his groin during the Christmas Day win over the Warriors and is scheduled to be re-evaluated on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the forward went through shootaround with his teammates and his activity led head coach Luke Walton to offer some optimism on when he could return.
The Lakers need James (and to a lesser extent, Rajon Rondo) healthy to reach their ceiling for the season. As frustrating as their recent slump has been, they need to make sure both are at no risk of re-aggravating their injuries before they are allowed to get back on the court.