Los Angeles Lakers fans were given a bit of a scare — and likely a sense of déjà vu — yesterday when it was reported that LeBron James was dealing with “a nagging groin issue” in addition to the thoracic muscle strain that the Lakers said caused James to miss his first game of the season as the team lost to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
But while those two injuries don’t sound fun, apparently they won’t cause James to miss arguably the Lakers’ biggest matchup of the young season, a showdown with the LA Clippers on Christmas Day. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, things are looking good for James to return to the lineup after just one game:
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.
At practice on Monday, Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel said that both James and Anthony Davis (sore right knee) are officially being listed as questionable to play against the Clippers. Neither player practiced on Monday.
James being back would certainly add a lot to the intrigue of the game, as well as making him (probably) one of the first people ever to fight to work on the holidays. His return also give the Lakers a real chance to prove that they can beat a true contender for the title this season, something they’ve failed to do so far with losses to the Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.
Still, while this is a big game, it is ultimately just one regular season game, and that’s all it counts for on the team’s overall record. While it’s admirable that James wants to make sure he’s in the lineup for such a marquee matchup, hopefully both he and the Lakers are being as cautious as possible when it comes to his health.