The Los Angeles Lakers have now been without LeBron James for four straight games, with it likely that he misses his fifth straight as he’s listed doubtful on the injury report for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers. LeBron has been dealing with irritation and swelling in his left knee ever since he woke up after the team’s win against the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 25th.
Even if championship hopes with LeBron seem low given the fact that it will take some minor miracles for the team to avoid the play-in tournament, the team’s odds at winning it all are pretty much less than zero if they can’t have him fully healthy leading up to the postseason.
Reports about his knee have been somewhat vague with little good news to be had, however, The Athletic’s Shams Charania recently reported the following, seemingly indicating that this won’t be a long-term issue even though it may continue to be a short-term one.
“He’s going to continue to rehab over the next several days, continue to get treatment, and the hope is he’s back in the next few days if not the next few games.”
"The hope is that he's back in the next few days."
— The Rally (@TheRally) February 3, 2022
“He’s not going to play again until that swelling subsides. The Lakers are sticking by that plan. They believe if he plays with the swelling in there, he could be at risk of further injuring himself. I’m told from a source close to LeBron they are exploring all options when it comes to treatment except they have ruled out the possibility of PRP. He will not be going with PRP as part of his ramp up to try to get back on the court.”
As Charania also reports, he is, in fact, expected to miss tonight’s game against the Clippers. After that, the Lakers have two straight home games against the Knicks and Bucks on Saturday and next Tuesday. After that, they go on a mini west coast road trip visiting the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, Feb. 9th and the Warriors on Saturday, Feb. 12th. After that, the team returns home for what is basically a six-game stand (one game in the middle of that stretch is “on the road” against the Clippers).
It seems as if the team will definitely be without him in the two home games following tonight’s game. It also seems doubtful that he would return for that two-game road trip. However, hopefully he is back for the beginning of those six games at home. The Lakers will face the Jazz, Mavericks, and Warriors in that stretch with their odds of winning those without LeBron being slim.
However, LeBron and the team definitely shouldn’t rush him back to the court. We definitely don’t want him to suffer another set back right after he comes back, or anything even more worse than that.