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What could be causing LeBron James’ left knee soreness, and how concerning is it?

The Lakers have not given many specifics on the knee issue LeBron James is dealing with, but they have given a few clues on what could be ailing him.

Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Lakers superstar LeBron James has missed the last three games with what was initially labeled “left knee soreness,” but then became designated as “left knee soreness/effusion,” leaving the team in yet another pickle as they struggle to find any continuity or consistency between their three superstars, who have still played in less than 20 games together this season.

James underwent an MRI which revealed “no structural damage” and he remains “day to day,” per head coach Frank Vogel. But all that is quite vague, so in the following video, I gave further insight into the knee soreness/effusion, including potential root causes, the key indicators we know thus far about severity (how bad it is or isn’t), and lastly, a key lesson I believe LeBron learned last season, and how that could be influencing his return to play process this year.

Hopefully we’ll see James back on the soon court enough, and his latest absence vs. the Atlanta Hawks allowed for the extra three days of treatment and methodical ramp-up he needed. That being said, LeBron, his trainer Mike Mancias, and the Lakers training and physio staff will be keeping a close eye on the knee to see how it responds to in-game intensity when he gets back, and moving forward for the rest of the season. What they see (and what James feels) will ultimately determine when he’s ready to get back on the floor.

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.