LeBron James “Not Close to Returning” from Foot Injury, Lakers Playoff Hopes in Question.
Even though Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is getting closer to being reevaluated, he won’t be back on the court soon.
Brian Windhorst, an ESPN reporter, stated on The Hoop Collective Podcast (starting at the 26:42 mark) that James is “not close to returning” from the foot injury that has forced him to miss the last nine games:
“I’ve heard that LeBron’s return is still a ways off. I know everyone has been saying the three weeks, but it’s safe to say that he’ll have a formal re-evaluation in three weeks. However, this does not imply that we can expect him back in three weeks. LeBron has a history of playing through injuries, but I’m not positive this is one of them.”
Earlier this week, Jovan Buha of The Athletic said on the HoopsHype podcast that James’ recovery was ahead of schedule but that if he does play again, “it’s probably going to be the last week or so of the regular season.”
The four-time MVP has been dealing with a tendon injury in his foot, the Lakers said on March 2. He will be reevaluated in three weeks. It was the worst possible news for the team as they tried to make the playoffs as a wild card.
On March 14, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium told The Rally that James’ foot was “feeling much better,” but the Lakers were “expecting that he will miss a sizable chunk of the rest of the season getting back into game shape.”
As soon as the Lakers broke the news of James’s serious injury, speculation centered on how long until the playoffs. The final game for Los Angeles is on April 9, so they played their entire schedule in those three weeks. The 38-year-reevaluation old’s results were also not guaranteed to be positive.
Anthony Davis has been fantastic in James’ absence, and D’Angelo Russell’s play since being acquired in a midseason trade has arguably exceeded expectations. Even so, the Lakers have needed their star player to make up ground in the standings.
The Clippers are currently 9th in the Western Conference with a 34-36 record, two games back of the sixth-place Golden State Warriors. At 33-36, the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans are tied for 11th in the Western Conference.
The NBA Updates news that LeBron James is “not close to returning” from his foot injury disappoints Lakers fans and the team’s playoff hopes. While there were reports of James’ recovery being ahead of schedule, it seems unlikely he will be back on the court soon. This puts pressure on the rest of the team to step up and makeup ground in the standings without their star player.
Anthony Davis has been fantastic, but the Lakers have struggled to make up ground in the Western Conference without James. He may or may not be able to make a comeback in time for the playoffs, but in the meantime, the team must press on without him.