Lakers Star LeBron James Gets Encouraging Timeline for Return

Getty Anthony Davis and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers might not be without superstar LeBron James for too much longer.

James has been out with an abdominal strain and there were fears that the four-time MVP could miss an extended period of time. However, NBA insider Brian Windhorst said that won’t be the case.

“Yeah, this is not a severe injury. He is rehabbing this, and from what I am told, the rehab is going well. He may have to do some reconditioning a little bit, but this is not going to keep him out an extended period. He definitely has shown his age with some of these muscle injuries, there’s no doubt about that,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s This Just In on Wednesday. “This is not something that is going to dramatically impact his ability. And it’s coming at a portion of the schedule with the Lakers where it’s not that difficult. They haven’t done great, I agree, but this is a time where if you’re going to nurse an injury, this is that time of the season, and that’s what LeBron is doing.”

James has missed the last four games with a rectus abdominisctus muscle strain. The Lakers have not given an update on him since ruling James out at least a week last Thursday.

The start of the year has not been kind to the 36-year-old James, who has also dealt with an ankle injury early on. That injury was concerning because the four-time MVP missed 26 games last season after being rolled up on by Hawks wing Solomon Hill. While it was the same leg, the latest ankle injury was unrelated to his previous ankle ailment.

Lakers Dealing With Multiple Injuries

Austin Reaves, Lakers

GettyAustin Reaves, Lakers

The Lakers have dealt with some early injury adversity beyond James, with the latest key addition to the injury report being rookie Austin Reaves.

The undrafted rookie was starting to make a name for himself with significant minutes in the rotation but is now dealing with a hamstring injury that will keep him out at least the next two weeks.

Reaves is averaging 6.1 points and 21.3 minutes per game during his debut season with the Lakers. He was embracing the “next man up” mentality that was associated with James being out.

“It’s basketball, it’s sports, there are injuries. There are little things in games where people are gonna be out for a little stretch, so you really just gotta come together. It’s next man up mentality, coach was talking about it during halftime. Nobody’s going to fill LeBron’s shoes, but if everybody steps up and just does a little more then we’ll accommodate for the amount that LeBron does for us.”

Anthony Davis Battle Through Illness

With James out, a lot of weight has fallen on the shoulders of Anthony Davis. Unfortunately, Davis had been dealing with a sprained thumb and an illness, throwing up during a pair of games.

There’s a narrative around Davis being “soft” due to some injuries he’s dealt with through his career. Lakers veteran Carmelo Anthony feels like there’s nothing further from the truth, especially after he battled through the illness over the last week or so.

“I’m around him and I know what type of player he is. What type of person he is. And there’s a lot on him,” Anthony said. “I think a lot of times we find a narrative and try to stick to it with athletes, but I know he’s not soft. I know he’s tough. That’s the only thing that matters.”

Davis is averaging 23.9 points and 11.2 rebounds in nearly 35 minutes per game.

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