Related Tags: Luke Walton
The Lakers lost a third game in a row on Thursday night when the Timberwolves beat LA 120-105 at the Staple Center. The game represented the 14th game without LeBron, a stretch in which the Lakers are now 5-9. Since losing LeBron, the Lakers have dropped 5 places, taking them out of the playoff spots, with LA currently sitting 1.5 games back of playoff qualification.
After the game, many of the media questions were based around LeBron. Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton was not precise when discussing the return of All-Star LeBron James, but he made it clear that the return of The King was close.
When asked about specifics of LeBron’s injury and specifically when he thinks the small forward will be back, Walton didn’t give a specific response.
“He’s taking care of his body and when he’s ready to go, he’ll go.”
Walton and the Lakers organization have been patient in working LeBron back from his groin injury that has lasted longer than expected. When LeBron was first assessed after the Christmas Day injury against Golden State, he was listed as day-to-day, and was considered to have suffered a very minor injury.
Instead, LeBron has missed 15 games, and will have been out of action for over a month before he does return. Walton did give one positive indication, mentioning that LeBron hasn’t ruled out returning next game for the Lakers.
"He's not out yet for Sunday" Walton told reporters.
On Sunday, the Lakers will host the Phoenix Suns, who are currently on the bottom of the western conference, and have the third least wins in the entire league. This seems like an ideal game for LeBron to come back and get some game action, even if he is limited to low minutes. The Lakers are in desperate need of results, as the western conference is more talented than it has likely ever been.
LeBron was averaging 27.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game before the groin injury, and will need to be just as productive for LA when he is to return.