New Details Emerge on LeBron James’ Injury Return Timeline: Report

LeBron James Return Timeline

Getty The Lakers could be without LeBron James for the next month.

The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to be without LeBron James for potentially the next month, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While the Lakers have not revealed a specific return timeline, Wojnarowski reported the team is expecting James to be sidelined at least three to four weeks with a high-ankle sprain.

“They’re still evaluating that high-ankle sprain, but I’m told that the Lakers are preparing for the possibility they could be without LeBron James for three weeks, even a month,” Wojnarowski noted on Get Up, via Bleacher Report. “That’s a normal time frame for recovery for that injury, but they’re still firming up a timeline. James has shown in his career an incredible ability to recover quickly from injury and play through injury, but this one’s not going to be so easy, and the Lakers, again, are preparing for the possibility this is going to be weeks, not days.”

James sustained the ankle injury during a March 20th matchup against the Hawks as center Solomon Hill rolled into his leg while diving for a loose ball. The Lakers star managed to briefly remain in the game and hit a three-point shot before exiting to the locker room as he appeared to be in obvious pain.

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The Lakers Are Expected to be ‘Cautious’ With LeBron’s Return

The Lakers have dealt with a number of significant injuries this season, including their top two players now being sidelined. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported James could return “sooner than later”, but the Lakers plan to be “cautious” in their approach to the injury.

“Lakers star LeBron James is initially expected to miss several weeks due to his high right ankle sprain, sources say,” Charania detailed. “High ankle sprains tend to range in missed time but usually last multiple weeks. James is not an ordinary player, though, and has an uncanny pain tolerance. At 36 years old, James and the Lakers are sure to be cautious with his return and allow him to return based on his response to treatment — which could be sooner than later.”

Could James’ Injury Impact the NBA Trade Deadline?

James’ injury not only has the potential to impact the March 25th trade deadline for the Lakers but other contending teams as well. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported there is “skepticism” around the league that James’ injury will prompt other NBA teams to be more aggressive at the deadline.

“Sources across the league expressed skepticism that LeBron James’ high ankle sprain would result in any increased urgency among contenders to add talent,” Lowe detailed. “Rivals are operating under the assumption James will be 100 percent for the playoffs, and the Los Angeles Lakers as formidable as ever. James’ injury does not increase the number of sellers, or magically return draft picks to contenders who already traded them. That said, it’s dangerous to dismiss any uncertainty surrounding the defending champs and prohibitive preseason favorites. Any teensy change in championship probabilities can matter.”

The Lakers continue to be linked to players in both trade rumors and the eventual buyout market. With James expected back by the playoffs, Wojnarowski reported he does not believe the Lakers will be any more aggressive than normal at the deadline as a response to the superstar’s injury. With two open roster spots, look for the Lakers to still make moves either via a trade or signing a player who receives a buyout.

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