LeBron James first injured his groin in the third quarter of a Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors. The original diagnose predicted that LeBron would only miss a couple days, with the LA Lakers not even ruling him out for the next game. It is now January 17th, and LeBron hasn’t seen game action since going down with the groin injury.
The injury seems to be healing slower than expected, with LeBron returning to shootarounds as recently as the beginning of this week.
It appears that the groin strain that was suffered by LeBron is much more serious than first predicted. LeBron’s age may have something to do with the pace of the recovery. James is now 34, and in his 16th year in the league, the time may be finally catching up with him.
LeBron is averaging another monster stats year, scoring 27.3 points per game. Along with scoring, LeBron has also led the team in assisting and rebounding, dishing out 7.1 assists and grabbing 8.3 rebounds a game. With LeBron, the Lakers are a contender in the western conference, with the former MVP making them a completely different team. The Lakers record with LeBron is 20-7, including wins over the Nuggets and Warriors. Since LeBron has went down, the Lakers have fallen from 5th in the west to 9th, falling out of the last playoff spot.
Young bucks Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball are all expected to pick up the slack without LeBron. Kuzma is averaging 18.7 points per game since LeBron left, and is LA’s biggest scoring threat. Kuzma dropped his season high 41 points last week, playing the Pistons without LeBron. All three young players have been involved in trade talks linking them from moves away from LA, but will have their chances to prove themselves during the time without LeBron.
LeBron James is still listed as out indefinitely, leaving him to be reevaluated in another week. The Lakers begin a two day road trip on Thursday, playing high level western conference foes the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. LeBron will miss these games, and just one win out of these two would be considered successful for the Lakers, who have struggled heavily without LeBron.