Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will make his retu…

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will make his return Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers after missing nearly five weeks with a left groin strain, league sources told Yahoo Sports.‬

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Ohm Youngmisuk: LeBron James is now listed as doubtful to play tonight against the Clippers. Josh Hart and Kyle IKuzma are questionable to play. Luke Walton said there's a possibility James could warm up before tonight's game to see how he feels. Walton also said Kuzma was moving better this morning.
Dave McMenamin: Luke Walton says the Lakers are preparing as if LeBron won’t be available tomorrow. The Lakers say he is officially listed as out. Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart are both questionable. However Walton said today Kuzma did the most he’s done since sitting out with his hip injury.
A source familiar with James' rehab told ESPN's Dave McMenamin that the Lakers are "hoping" James could return to game action against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday at Staples Center. "Depends on these next couple of days," the source said.
LeBron James: Almost that time again! I’ve missed you so damn much! 😤🦁 🗣🤯#BeenACagedAngryLion. #striveforgreatness🚀 #jamesgang👑 photo cred @graydientvisuals

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Bill Oram: LeBron James will be listed as out for Tuesday's game against Philadelphia. Something extraordinary could change that, but he is expected to miss his 17th straight game.
Mike Bresnahan: There will probably be some sort of a minutes limit for LeBron James when he does return, Luke Walton said. Lakers have tomorrow’s home game vs. Philly and then six on the road before the All-Star break.
Kyle Goon: LeBron James is not officially out for tomorrow yet — Luke Walton said the Lakers will see how he feels tomorrow.
Tania Ganguli: LeBron practiced and was a full participant in their defensive drills which are full contact, Luke Walton said. But again he won’t play tomorrow against the Suns.
Kyle Goon: LeBron James is OUT tomorrow against the Suns. Kyle Kuzma did not practice and is QUESTIONABLE.
What is less clear is when James will return, but head coach Luke Walton said the Lakers can’t worry about that right now. “We’re not going to play the next week expecting that LeBron is going to be back,” Walton told reporters after the Lakers’ shootaround on Monday morning. “We’re going to play and practice and get after it like we’re not going to have him for a while. “Hopefully he gets back within a couple days, but that’s kind of our mindset when anyone gets hurt.”
While Paul believes that James has healed very well – in essence, that he has made six weeks’ worth of progress in just three weeks – the doctors made it very clear that a possible re-injury of the groin would be worse than the initial injury. Translation: James will not return until he is fully healthy. For the sake of chronicling the worst-case scenario timeline – however unlikely that might be – a return after six weeks would come on Feb. 5 (the Lakers play eight more times before then).
While James hates to see his teammates struggling, the risk of re-injury is too great to speed up the timeline because of the on-court results. Public pressure, in other words, won’t play a part here. “We don’t give a shit what nobody thinks or says,” Paul said via phone. “We’re going to do what’s best for him. The best-case scenario was three weeks, the worst-case was six weeks, and we’re right on schedule. He’ll improve his workload, and he’ll be day to day from there. “Now day to day doesn’t mean tomorrow or the next day (he’ll be back). Day to day means that after each day of his workload, we’ll evaluate it, and when he feels his best he’ll play. However long it takes, it’ll take. We’re not on nobody else’s timeline.”
In a conversation with The Athletic on Wednesday, Rich Paul made a few key things very clear. LeBron James’ injury, according to Paul, was a Grade 2 strain of the left groin that doctors said would require between three to six weeks recovery time. While Paul believes that James has healed very well – in essence, that he has made six weeks’ worth of progress in just three weeks – the doctors made it very clear that a possible re-injury of the groin would be worse than the initial injury. Translation: James will not return until he is fully healthy. For the sake of chronicling the worst-case scenario timeline – however unlikely that might be – a return after six weeks would come on Feb. 5 (the Lakers play eight more times before then). James is not yet targeting specific games for his possible return. While James hates to see his teammates struggling, the risk of re-injury is too great to speed up the timeline because of the on-court results. Public pressure, in other words, won’t play a part here.
Paul downplayed the significance of James’ age, instead highlighting the tricky nature of this particular injury. “Look, LeBron is in his 16th year, and he’s a proven guy,” Paul continued. “He doesn’t owe nothing to nobody. When he’s ready to be back, he’ll be back. It’s as simple as that. Until then, he’s going to root his teammates on and try to help them as best he can. “Obviously he cares (about their struggles). The man wants to play. He’s fucking itching to play, but he can’t put himself in that situation. It’s just, you’ve really got to do the right thing and it has zero to do with his age, or the fact that he’s played 16 seasons – nothing to do with that. This is a tendon. It’s not a shoulder, or an ankle, or an elbow. The smart thing to do is to do the smart thing. You can’t allow media, or the fact that the team might be losing, to dictate what’s best for you, and we won’t. He’s progressing. He’s not ready yet.”
LeBron James will miss at least the next two games for the Lakers as he continues to rehabilitate a strained left groin, his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, told ESPN on Tuesday. James has missed the past 11 games since suffering the injury on Christmas Day at the Golden State Warriors, and the Lakers have gone 4-7 in his absence, including Tuesday's 107-100 win against the hapless Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.
James will have his groin injury re-evaluated in Los Angeles on Wednesday -- the three-week mark since the injury occurred -- and will not accompany the team on its two-game trip to Oklahoma City and Houston, Paul told ESPN.
Bill Oram: Luke Walton was coy when asked about the LeBron status update that’s expected tomorrow. He said he’s “optimistic about life” before adding, “I think we’ll get good news back.”
For LeBron and for his team, it’s been much more serious. “I’m handling it as well as I can,” James told The Athletic on Sunday, on his way to get in some running before the Lakers-Cavs game. “Mentally, he’s getting there. If there’s one guy you don’t want to get hurt, it’s him, because he always wants to play,” said a member of James’ inner circle. “I wouldn’t say ‘depressed,’ just that he’s eager to get back,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton.
Mike Trudell: Luke Walton on LeBron: “He got treatment and shots yesterday, he got treatment and shots today.” Walton was then asked if LeBron has been running, and said, “I don’t know if he ran today.” Then said “yeah” when asked if he’s done any running. Added: “He tells me he feels good.”
Kyle Goon: This might have been inferred earlier, but Luke Walton just conformed that LeBron James is not traveling to Utah. He’s scheduled to have his medical re-evaluation Friday in LA.
Matthew Moreno: Luke Walton on LeBron update: "We talk all year, we need everyone on our team. We're down in bodies and it's going to be a challenge, but our guys should be excited for that. We've got to find a way to keep playing at a high level and finish some of these games out."
Jeff Zillgitt: Lakers forward LeBron James is out at least another week with strained left groin. He will not travel with team on two-game road trip as he continues receiving treatment.
Bill Oram: Lakers say LeBron James will not travel to Minnesota and Dallas this weekend and will be reevaluated in one week. That means he will miss at least the next four games. Utah next Friday would be first *possible* game.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, still recovering from a significant groin strain that has kept him sidelined for three games, participated little in practice Tuesday but did get some shots up in front of coach Luke Walton for the first time since his injury. James is still listed as day-to-day, and it remains unclear how long he will be sidelined. Sources previously told ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski that the team was preparing for James to miss several games after he suffered the injury on Christmas against the Golden State Warriors.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, still recovering from a significant groin strain that has kept him sidelined for three games, participated little in practice Tuesday but did get some shots up in front of coach Luke Walton for the first time since his injury.
"It's definitely tough because he's very vocal," Lakers swingman Lance Stephenson said. "With him missing, it's like everyone is quiet. You don't know what's going on on the floor. But as the games that we had, I think we got better at it."
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James will miss his second straight game with a strained groin Friday when the Los Angeles Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers, a league source tells ESPN
LeBron James was held out of the Lakers' 117-116 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night because of a groin injury, ending his consecutive games played streak at 156. James was injured during the Lakers' 127-101 victory over two-time defending NBA champion Golden State on Christmas when he slipped while going for a loose ball.
Although an MRI revealed LeBron James sidestepped serious injury, the All-NBA forward did suffer a significant left groin strain and the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing for him to miss several games, league sources told ESPN. The Lakers are calling James' absence "day to day," but sources told ESPN there is a healing process that needs to occur before James can return to the lineup.
A timeline for James' return is further complicated by the fact that he has never had to navigate this severe of a groin injury and still needs to gain an understanding of how his body will respond to treatment. James has displayed a tremendous capacity throughout his career to avoid extended absences with injury, but sources expected the Lakers and James will be careful not to risk further aggravation of the groin by returning too quickly.
We asked if the injury scare increased Magic's sense of urgency in getting another superstar to the Lakers -- to which he replied, "Nope. Nope. Nope." So, what's the message to the rest of the Lakers who will have to soldier on without LeBron? "Play hard, play together, play Laker basketball." As for LeBron's return date, Magic wasn't specific -- saying James is "taking a little time."
Bron later announced the injury was just a groin strain -- nothing more serious -- but still, people are wondering if this is the beginning of the end for a soon-to-be 34-year-old who's never had any serious injuries. "We don't worry about what people say," Johnson told us on the way out of Craig's in Los Angeles ... "We're having a great season, you can't worry about what people say." "I'm happy and we'll be okay."
LeBron James: Dodged a bullet! Sheesh. 🙏🏾 to the almighty above! #BackInNoTime
Throughout his 16-year NBA career, James has been impressively durable. Of the 1,264 games his teams have played, James competed in 1,177 of them, a 93 percent clip. “It’s pretty rare for me to have an injury, period,” James said. “ … We have a great medical staff here, I have a great trainer, we’ll get to it. Obviously, I did a couple exercises to see if I could continue to go, but I didn’t feel like it would benefit my team or me, so I just came back and got a jumpstart on the rehab.” A groin strain earlier this season kept Warriors guard Stephen Curry out of action for three weeks.
If the Lakers end up without James for a couple of games, Walton says he feels good about the Lakers’ chances. “Our team is much better now than we were to start the season,” he said. “So, it will get a lot more challenging for us if he misses some real time, but I’m also very confident in our group that they’ll continue to step up and battle.”
Shams Charania: Sources @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will be day-to-day after MRI on groin strain.
Earlier this season, one team staffer suggested in a conversation with The Athletic that it might take nothing more than James missing 10 games with an injury to knock the Lakers out of the playoff picture. The margins in the West are that tight, and the Lakers need LeBron that much. An injured LeBron James was not a sight anyone with the Lakers expected to see. Up to the point he hobbled off the court, James had been cruising, amassing 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in just 21 minutes. “I’ve never seen him hurt,” Rajon Rondo said. “I was a little shocked and couldn’t believe it, but I know it’s a serious injury. Obviously, he wouldn’t sit out a game with (just) anything. So it was very serious.”
The Lakers are No. 8 in the NBA in offense (113.2 points) compared to No. 11 (108.1) last season. It's unclear whether a player on the Lakers' blossoming roster has emerged to become a go-to player. Without James' facilitating abilities, Ball and backup point guard Rajon Rondo would need to step up. But all the intangible parts of James' game -- his leadership, defensive tenacity and experience -- don't always show up in the stat sheet. As scoring in the league has increased, the Lakers rank 18th in points allowed (111) compared to 25th in points allowed (109.6) last season.
Rondo finished with 15 points and 10 assists and was a plus-24. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 19 points and Ivica Zubac posted his second double-double in three starts with 18 points and 11 rebounds. “It’s always next man up, no matter what,” James said. “JaVale has been out, B.I. (and) Rondo has been out. Guys have been out throughout the season, so it is next man up.” It was a refrain echoed throughout the locker room.
The Lakers pull off a stunning 127-101 blowout win in Oakland over the defending champs. But all they really want for Christmas is good news on LeBron James' MRI on his groin. A source told ESPN's Dave McMenamin that James is considered day-to-day with more clarity to come following the MRI.
The initial feeling is positive, with James "in good spirits" in the locker room afterward and a source telling ESPN's Dave McMenamin that the All-Star's timeline for recovery is considered day-to-day, pending the MRI results.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: An initial exam on LeBron James reveals all is intact and that it’s a slight groin strain. It could have been worse.
"With me with injuries, I am never too concerned about them," said James, who had an electric stimulation device attached to his hip before he and the Lakers flew back to Los Angeles. "I was able to walk off on my own power. I felt a pop and see if I could stretch it a few times and see if it will relieve, but it didn't." "I don't know," James added later when asked if he expects to miss time. "See what the MRI says and see how I feel for the rest of the day today. And I will be all around the clock tomorrow on rehabbing. And we will see how I feel on Thursday when we go to [Sacramento]."
Kyle Goon: How much pride does LeBron take in being available to play? “I take a lot of pride in it. That is why it pissed me off not being able to go back into the game.” pic.twitter.com/XkwTwHO2dZ
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, James — who was briefed on the latest media reports shortly before coming to the podium — would not have worn the cast if his injury had not already been reported. His teammates and coaches all knew what had happened, and it’s a wonder how it didn’t come out sooner. It’s also unclear if James or his associates would have shared the news at a later time, but there were no plans to pull the curtain back that night. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Brian Windhorst: LeBron James suffered a significant right hand injury after Game 1 when he punched a black board in the locker room, sources told me & @Dave McMenamin. He had 2 MRIs & has been wearing a soft cast. LeBron not using injury as an excuse but kept quiet to prevent Warriors from knowing.

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On Friday, James banged his right leg in a fourth-quarter collision with Larry Nance Jr. James said afterward it left him with pain in the leg and the ankle. Asked how the leg felt Sunday morning, James said, “It’s been better, but I’ll be ready tonight.” James wouldn’t say whether the ankle or the leg was more of an issue. “Uh, the ankle is a part of the leg, so it’s the full leg,” he said.
On Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), James will play in his 70th consecutive game as he chases the first season in which he plays in all 82 games. Back in 2015, however, James was laying on the court during timeouts, propped on a towel in discomfort. It brought to mind Larry Bird and Steve Nash, all-time greats who saw their careers zapped in their 30s because of back issues. James needed two anti-inflammatory injections in his lower back in a 10-month span in 2015, one shutting him down for two weeks midseason and another wiping out his preseason. And the possibility was left open that he might need more numbing shots, an indication he was dealing with something serious.
Raimon was a SEAL for 15 years and became a disciple of biomechanics when he used the science to help himself to get over a severe neck injury suffered during a parachute jump that Navy doctors struggled to heal. He purposely avoids the spotlight and doesn't do interviews. James generally doesn't speak about Raimon or his techniques, and he credits the Cavs training staff with working to keep him in the best shape. "Between Donnie and Mike, it's a great one-two punch," James said.
Seeing him turn his ankle nearly 90 degrees only to tighten his shoelaces and finish with a triple-double. Watching him show up four hours before a playoff game to get in a sweat-soaked workout, then play more than 40 minutes and score 40 points. And the topper: the time James gained seven pounds during an Eastern Conference finals game. Some Miami Heat teammates saw the scale and attest to it in amazement. James himself just shrugs and calls it "weird as hell." The truly wild part is that it was from 271 pounds to 278 pounds, though James is much lighter these days.
It isn’t supposed to work this way. He could’ve easily gone the path of Larry Bird, whose crippling back problems left him flat on the floor during much of his last season before finally forcing him out of the league at age 35. But through his training methods, James acknowledges now he believes he has unlocked the key to staving off career-threatening concerns. 15. He has long been hesitant to share his training methods because he doesn’t want anyone to steal them, but he can’t remember the last time he needed an anti-inflammatory injection in his back and he continues to play the best basketball of his career.
"I just want to get to where I should be," James said after participating in Cavs practice Thursday. "The ankle and the foot injury just kind of kept me out and set me back further than I would like, but I got some time now along the course of these games that we got -- we got two back-to-backs coming up so that's going to help and we have some opportunity to get some practice time in as well."

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James, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle, participated in shootaround on Tuesday morning in Cleveland, but didn't speak with reporters and is still listed as questionable for the game. James has been slowed by the injury he suffered in practice on Sept. 27. He played in only one of Cleveland's five exhibition games, and his absence has kept a starting lineup that now includes Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose from getting much floor time together.
LeBron James: Hopefully I can be Ready to get it going tomorrow night. So excited to have one of the greatest guys on and off the court with us. #TheLand
There's no way LeBron James' sprained left ankle will keep him out of the Cleveland Cavaliers' regular-season opener against Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics -- at least according to JR Smith. "Oh, he's going to go," Smith said after practice Monday. "He's going to go, trust me on that. I don't care what he's got to do, he's going to play." Smith's declaration of James' status was far more definitive than Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue's assessment of his superstar's chances of suiting up after James missed four of the Cavs' five preseason games with the injury.
Storyline: LeBron James Injury
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