LeBron James returned to the court on Wednesday night after missing the Lakers most recent loss to the Jazz nursing a foot injury, telling reporters before the game the only way to heal was rest, but the 2-8 Lakers can’t afford to be without their star so he was going to play through it against the rival Clippers.
While James had it going to the tune of a 30-point night, it wasn’t enough with another lackluster shooting night around him to beat the Clippers, who won 114-101, and to make matters worse, LeBron left in the fourth quarter with just over five minutes to go, grabbing at his left groin area as he walked gingerly to the locker room.
— Stephen Anthony Smith (@firsttake102) November 10, 2022
There wasn’t a particularly clear moment where the injury occurred, as James didn’t have a slip or a particularly awkward step or landing, but the Lakers broadcast did pick up the first appearance of James seeming bothered by the injury after getting fouled on a post fadeaway.
LeBron left the game with a left leg soreness and will not return.
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 10, 2022
It’s hard to see anything happen, but you can see the grimace on his face and he would leave the game for the locker room shortly after. The team quickly announced he would not return with “left leg soreness,” which is fairly vague and leaves the door open for it to be something other than his groin, even thought that’s what he’s grabbing at as he walks off the floor.
Any absence from LeBron is a disaster for a Lakers team that can’t win with him out there, and for the now 2-9 Lakers, being without James for an extended period would push them further and further from any hopes of salvaging this season. Hopefully it is a mild tweak and nothing more, but it remains to be seen what the official diagnosis will end up being.
It is notable that the left leg is the same leg that he had a groin injury in the 2018-19 season that caused him to miss 17 games over the course of a month-plus, before missing more time at the end of the season as the Lakers missed out on the postseason. Hopefully this is not as severe a situation, but there’s plenty of concern for the Lakers about the health of their star.