NBA Rumor: LeBron James Injury

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LeBron James to miss time?

A collision with Patrick Beverley in the first quarter of the Lakers’ 111-106 loss Wednesday night to the Clippers caused LeBron James to aggravate a nagging groin injury and could cause the Lakers star to miss some game time moving forward. “I felt healthy going into the game,” James said after finishing with 23 points on 9-for-24 shooting, with 10 assists and 9 rebounds. “I got kneed in the groin taking a charge from Pat Bev, and it kind of set me right back to where I was five days ago.”

LeBron James back for Christmas?

James missed his first game of the season Sunday while dealing with a thoracic muscle strain — a pull in the rib cage area — as well as a nagging groin issue, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. He is listed as day-to-day by the Lakers with the Christmas game on the horizon. However, a source close to James told ESPN he expected the star to be in the lineup. While James’ presence would certainly buoy this Lakers group, Anthony Davis pointed to a more pressing need than the four-time MVP: team defense.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is doubtful for Sunday’s home game against the Nuggets with a thoracic muscle strain, coach Frank Vogel announced Saturday. LeBron James first sustained the injury, a pull in the rib cage area, against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday and played through it during Thursday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. James didn’t require an MRI, but this is a significant issue and not just a load management situation, sources told ESPN.
2 years ago via ESPN

The Lakers announced this weekend that James would be held out of the final six games to allow his strained left groin to fully heal. “He wants to play,” Walton said before the Lakers played the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. “My understanding from the medical staff, they finally said, ‘Look, it’s just not worth it anymore. Let’s make sure you have a healthy summer.’ So that’s the decision that was made, and we’ll move forward without him on the floor for the final six.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Walton said that the final stretch of the season will be difficult without James, but will present an opportunity for the rest of his young team. “It’s going to make it a challenge, but you know, it can be exciting if guys step up,” he said. “This group, it’s been fun, for where we’re at, it’s been fun to coach this group lately, and the way they’ve been playing out there. LeBron’s been a key part of that. We’ll have to figure some things out differently, but again, everyone’s getting a chance to play and try to help us win some more games.”

Dr. Karen Joubert: As a PT for 27 years I have had the good fortune to work with some of the top athletes in the world … then came Lebron. I want you all to know how bad his injury was and is, the pain he endured. Along with his amazing trainer, Mike Mancias, he was on the court in 6 weeks, it should have been 6 months. Unselfishly, he endured pain, pain, pain. He did not want to let the Lakers down, the fans down. But I know what he went through! I learned about determination, the will to win, how to get the job done. He is a force to be reckoned with. @kingjames @mikemancias1 #lebronjames #lakers #basketball #lebron

When I crossed paths with James before Sunday night’s tipoff, in my weekend cameo with ESPN Radio, he acknowledged that hauling the Lakers to the playoffs will be a daunting assignment. But he also insisted that he’s starting to feel better physically at the most important time after missing a career-worst 17 consecutive games with a groin strain he sustained on Christmas. “It’s going to be tough, but we shouldn’t want it any other way,” James said. “I look forward to the challenge — and I’m getting healthy, too.”

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.”
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March 4, 2021 | 9:34 pm EST Update
Kevin Love’s devotion to raising awareness and advocating for mental health during isolating times has earned him another honor. The Cavaliers forward and five-time All-Star received the first Humanitarian of the Year Award on Thursday night at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, an annual event that brings out the city’s top sports names but was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Love first went public with his own mental health issues in 2018, chronicling those struggles in an essay. His openness and willingness to share his personal story since has helped erase stigmas about mental issues and led to the NBA adopting programs to assist players. During the pandemic, Love, who has been sidelined most of this season with a calf injury, donated $100,000 through his foundation to assist team employees and workers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. He’s also donated meals to workers at the Cleveland Clinic.
March 4, 2021 | 8:43 pm EST Update