The Los Angeles Lakers have listed Alex Caruso (left neck muscle spasms) and LeBron James (sore right groin) as questionable for Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. Caruso and James missed the Lakers’ game against the Houston Rockets on Thursday for the same reasons.
Additionally, Anthony Davis (sprained right knee), Dwight Howard (sore right knee) and Markieff Morris (left hip contusion) have been listed as probable. Rajon Rondo is still out.
Caruso suffered his neck injury against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday and has been on the injury report ever since. James’ injury, on the other hand, dates back to 2018, when James suffered a groin strain against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. James missed 27 games as a result of that injury, including 17 games from Dec. 26 to Jan. 31.
James has only missed three games this season, but there have been some lingering affects of his groin injury, which was the first major injury of his career. In fact, before the Lakers tipped off against the Rockets on Thursday, Frank Vogel called it “an area of concern” for the team. James most recently aggravated his groin against the LA Clippers on Christmas Day.
The good news is that the Lakers have secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, so James can afford to sit the next three games if he needs that time to recover. The bad news is that after those three games, James will be expected to ramp things up for the playoffs, and nothing he showed in the seeding games suggested he was close to where he wanted to be physically. Sure, he’s LeBron James, but he’s also 35, which is why there’s also a long-term concern with that groin.
Whatever the case ends up being for James, the Lakers will have to be smart with the way they bring him along, and that process might carry on into the postseason. It’s probably too early to be worried, but it will definitely be something worth keeping an eye on.
The Lakers and Pacers will tip-off at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday. We’ll have more information on James’ injury before then.