Lakers Concerned Over LeBron James’ Latest Injury

Getty Images Lakers star LeBron James.

LeBron James will miss at least a week with an abdominal strain and the Los Angeles Lakers are concerned about his status going forward.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel spoke to the media prior to Thursday’s game and gave an update on James’ and the injury in general.

“There is obviously concern, but hopefully this is something that’s minimal and hopefully he’ll be back soon,” Vogel told reporters on Thursday night.

Vogel mentioned that James felt a “pulling” in the fourth quarter against the Rockets but finished the game.

Latest Injury Not Related to James’ Previous Groin Issue

The Lakers do not believe James’ latest injury is related to the groin issue he dealt with during the 2018-19 season, which limited him to just 55 games.

“It’s not a re-aggravation,” Vogel said.

However, James had already been dealing with an ankle injury that saw him miss a pair of games early this season.

“We want to be responsible with his minutes, and, like you just said, get to the finish line as healthy as possible, but also as in rhythm as possible,” Vogel said. “That’s the balance that we strike throughout the year.”

The real problem with James missing time is that the team is trying to build some chemistry with the arrival of so many new pieces, the premier among those being Russell Westbrook. While Westbrook is supremely talented, he’s not the easiest person to play alongside, especially considering how much James and Anthony Davis demand the ball.

“We want those guys to get as many minutes as they can together, but this was one of the reasons we all felt good about trading for Russell,” Vogel said. “Being able to handle stretches where we don’t have LeBron or AD better than we did last year.”

James Does Not Like to Miss Time

Getty ImagesLakers star LeBron James.

James played a career-low 33.4 minutes per game last year, which came after a historically short offseason due to the Lakers winning the title in the bubble and the COVID-19 pandemic. James only has one gear and doesn’t play the game with injuries in mind.

“I don’t play the game thinking about injuries,” James told reporters. “And I also feel worse when I play low minutes.”

James said he didn’t play his normal amount of basketball in the offseason, taking some extra time for his ankle to heal after missing a career-high 26 games.

“It took a while,” James told reporters on Monday, October 18. “I didn’t do much basketball stuff for probably the first two months of the summer, which is very rare for me, because my ankle wasn’t responding how I would like it to respond.

“And the best thing about the summertime was I had time. I had time to just really get ready when my ankle was ready to go. I was always training, just wasn’t on the basketball court much. Always doing other stuff, training, pushing, seeing if I could do other stuff with my ankle, and until I got to a point where I didn’t feel any sharp pains anymore, and my flexibility was back to where it was before. That’s when I knew I could get back on the floor.”

If the timeline holds, James could potentially return on November 12 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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