Just as the Los Angeles Lakers were beginning to get healthy, a new injury could derail their season further. LeBron James, who will miss his third straight game on Sunday due to soreness in his knee, has returned to Los Angeles to receive treatment on his knee, according to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.
James was ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers and determined to be day-to-day before eventually being ruled out of contests against the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks. Vogel did not rule James out of Wednesday’s game in Portland against the Trail Blazers but it’s easy to be pessimistic about the star returning to the lineup before the Lakers’ road trip ends with a game against the Clippers on Thursday.
According to Vogel, James received an MRI that revealed “general swelling” in his knee and that he would remain out until the swelling subsides. There appears to be no structural damage keeping the King out but it could be a fatigue injury related to teh heavy workload he has had to carry and it’s unclear how long it could last.
In case of a more long-term injury, the impact will be slightly decreased with the All-Star break just a couple of weeks away. If the Lakers choose to keep James out until after the festivities in Cleveland, he would miss only seven more games, including the contest against the Blazers.
James’ injury comes just after Anthony Davis returned to the lineup from a weeks-long absence due to a knee sprain. The trio of James, Davis, and Russell Westbrook has played in just 16 games together this season and has played in no more than three consecutive matchups. Westbrook and Malik Monk are also nursing new injuries but both are expected to be available moving forward.