The Los Angeles Lakers won’t have the services of LeBron James for an indefinite period of time. James went down with a foot injury during the third quarter of L.A.’s comeback win over the Dallas Mavericks earlier this week, saying that he heard something pop. While he finished out the game, the expectation is now that James will miss multiple weeks with the injury.
It’s the worst possible thing that could happen to a Lakers team with aspirations of making a push during the stretch run of the regular season. But if there is a silver lining, it’s that James won’t need to go under the knife to remedy the situation. According to Chris Haynes on the #thisleague UNCUT podcast, James’ injury won’t require surgery, and if need be, he could “probably” play right now, even if he would be in considerable pain.
“So what I can say on LeBron is that sources did inform me that he will not require surgery, that’s good news,” Haynes said at the 32:02 mark of the pod. “And so, that’s good news for the Lakers. Right now, it’s all about time and the rehabbing process. This is why it’s a crucial period: The Lakers have to really do what they can to buy him some time. What I mean by that is they gotta win, they gotta win a chunk of games, move up these standings to keep buying LeBron some time. That’s what it’s gonna take during this process.
“Could LeBron get out there and play right now? It’d be a risk, but I think he probably could, if he necessarily had to,” he continued. “But it’s too much of a risk, it’s too much pain right now. The plan right now is to give him as much time as heal for this rehab process, but the Lakers gotta win.”
Los Angeles is 30-33 and sit in 13th place in the Western Conference, a full game back of the New Orleans Pelicans for the 12-seed and the final play-in spot.