Lakers superstar LeBron James’ initial return from a high ankle sprain was met with significant soreness after jumping straight into two games, leading the team and player to ramp down his workload and methodically work his way back to the court.
Six games later, LeBron returned vs. the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans for the final two games of the regular season to ramp up for the playoffs, a run that will start in Wednesday’s play-in game vs. the Golden State Warriors.
Considering LeBron’s tumultuous return and a slight “tweak” at the end of the Pelicans game, the question on every Lakers fan’s mind (and the NBA in general) becomes:
How healthy is LeBron heading into these playoffs?
In the following video, I took a detailed look at his two games back — particularly how he progressed from Game 1 to Game 2 — to gauge where he’s at physically and mentally.
These are certainly encouraging signs, and we’ll get even more data points and observations tonight with LeBron and the Lakers competing in essentially a winner-take all, Game 7-like game in the play-in. Among many other things, it will certainly be a good test for LeBron’s ankle.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. 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 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching 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.