The Lakers have yet to provide an official injury timeline for LeBron James — who has missed the team’s last three games with an abdominal strain, and will miss a fourth when they play against the Miami Heat on Wednesday — but it has been six days since Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that James was expected to miss approximately 1-2 weeks with the setback.
Nearly a week later, Brian Windhorst of ESPN has given us the latest update on James’ status, and for Lakers fans, it’s certainly a positive one (emphasis mine):
“Yeah, this is not a severe injury. He is rehabbing this, and from what I am told, the rehab is going well. He may have to do some reconditioning a little bit, but this is not going to keep him out an extended period... This is not something that is going to dramatically impact his ability. And it’s coming at a portion of the schedule with the Lakers where it’s not that difficult. They haven’t done great, I agree, but this is a time where if you’re going to nurse an injury, this is that time of the season, and that’s what LeBron is doing.”
Frank Vogel said on Wednesday — before the team’s game against the Miami Heat — that there were “no updates” on James’ timeline.
The update from Windhorst does, however, track with the tenor of Frank Vogel’s most extended comments on James’ status, when he said that the team was obviously concerned about any setback for their star, but was hopeful that this would just be a “minimal” bump in the road rather than a major blow to the team’s title hopes. Dave McMenamin of ESPN had also previously reported that the team was mostly just being cautious with their soon-to-be 37-year-old star.
Injury analyst Jeff Stotts — the founder of In Street Clothes, the foremost database for tracking NBA injuries — added on Twitter that the average missed time for abdominal injuries is four games. And lending further credence to the idea that this isn’t worth panicking over yet was our own Dr. Rajpal Brar’s analysis of all the public indicators leading up to and after the injury: That it was likely not that serious.
So while we still don’t know exactly when James will return, this was certainly another promising update that should let fans of this team breath easy, and take in some (rare) relatively positive injury news.