The Los Angeles Lakers have received a devastating, season-changing LeBron James injury update.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, James isn’t close to returning from his right foot tendon injury.
“LeBron is not close to returning from what I am told,” Windhorst said on his podcast. “I know that everybody said the three weeks, but I think it was very clear three weeks is when he’s going to get an official re-evaluation. It didn’t mean he’s coming back in three weeks. I know that LeBron has played through injuries in the past. I’m not 100 percent sure this is an injury you can play through.”
James suffered his injury on February 26 against the Dallas Mavericks. He recently ditched his walking boot. The four-time MVP and four-time Finals MVP is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists on the season while shooting 50.1% from the field, 30.8% from beyond the arc and 75.9% from the free-throw line. The Lakers, who are in 10th place in the Western Conference standings, have 12 games left in the regular season, beginning on March 17 versus the Mavericks.
LeBron James Is Doing Everything He Can to Come Back
On March 10, Windhorst said on “Get Up” that James is “turning over every stone” to play again. Los Angeles’ final game of the regular season is on April 9 versus the Utah Jazz. The top six seeds in the conference automatically make the playoffs, while seeds 7-10 make the play-in tournament.
“From what I am told, LeBron is turning over every stone he possibly can from a treatment perspective to get that foot in position to return at some point this season,” Windhorst said.
Jovan Buha, who covers the Lakers for The Athletic, talked about James’ potential return with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype on March 16. LeBron, 38, will be re-evaluated by doctors next week.
“It’s sounding like if he does, it’s probably going to be the last week or so of the regular season,” Buha said. “You hear conflicting things. This has been one of the tougher things to dig on. The Lakers have played this very close to the vest. There hasn’t been much out there on it. A couple of notable developments this week were he returned to the team without the walking boot over the weekend. In between quarters, he was dribbling the ball and shooting layups. It was stationary but didn’t look like a guy who was in a walking boot, limping, and arrived in one of those scooters. He’s already ahead of schedule from that perspective. At shootaround in New Orleans, he was shooting free throws and moving around. The plan is to re-evaluate him next week, which will be about 3.5 weeks since the injury.”
The Lakers Could Be in Trouble
The Lakers could be in trouble since James is still out and star big man Anthony Davis isn’t 100%. Davis was re-evaluated by doctors nearly two weeks ago, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, and his right foot “did not show significant healing.”
“Davis was reevaluated by Lakers medical personnel about two weeks ago after sitting out the second night of a back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Thunder,” McMenamin wrote on March 14. “His right foot, which caused him to miss 20 games earlier in the season because of a stress reaction and a bone spur that fractured off the navicular bone, did not show significant healing, sources told ESPN. The doctors stuck to the same recommendation not to put Davis at risk of a setback from overexposure by participating in back-to-back games.”
The Lakers have a record of 34-36.