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Why did LeBron James have ankle soreness? A valuable lesson of ‘too much, too soon’

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Let’s dig in to the root cause of the ankle soreness LeBron James was dealing with, and why it highlights a key principle of physiotherapy.

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angelus Lakers at the Staples Center Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has missed the last four games with “ankle soreness,” an issue that reared its head after James played consecutive games vs. the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors last week. James logged nearly 30 minutes in each matchup following his return from six weeks of sitting out with a high ankle sprain.

Over this past weekend and through Monday, LeBron has begun to ramp up again, and the stark contrast between this process and his original one last week hints at the underlying root cause of why James’ had issues in his return in the first place.

I explained more in this video:

James’ status for the next two games vs. the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets remains unclear, but fans can take heart in the fact that the team is taking a more gradual approach this time, which bodes very well for LeBron’s prospects for the end of the season and into the playoffs.

Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.