Update: LeBron James did not take part in the Lakers practice on Tuesday, a day ahead of the team’s game against the Blazers, another sign pointing to him likely missing his fourth straight game. Generally speaking, the Lakers use their limited practice time to ramp players up before a return to the court from injury.
LeBron James did not participate in practice today, according to the Lakers, and underwent treatment on his left knee away from the practice facility.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 1, 2022
Vogel confirmed that James did not take part in practice and was away from the team on Tuesday while noting that the team was more focused on not letting the injury get more serious.
Vogel says that the Lakers sitting LeBron is more preventative to avoid a more serious injury if he were to keep playing— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) February 1, 2022
James will be listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s game, according to Vogel, as the team continues to work toward getting the swelling down in his knee.
Original story follows.
LeBron James is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game on Wednesday when the Lakers host the Trail Blazers with a lingering left knee injury, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. James missed the final three games of the team’s road trip, all losses, and despite having a head start in his return to Los Angeles, will not be making his return yet.
Lakers star LeBron James is expected to miss Wednesday’s game vs. Portland, and could be out a few more games due to irritation in left knee, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Sides want to be cautious and allow James to return once irritation subsides.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 1, 2022
The team and James have been vague on what the issue is with his knee. Originally described as left knee soreness, head coach Frank Vogel revealed there was general swelling in it prior to Sunday’s game against the Hawks. James returned to Los Angeles ahead of the team in order to begin treatment earlier but it still will not lead to him playing on Wednesday.
Injuries have been a main storyline in both James’ and the Lakers’ season so far. James has already missed 15 games this season for the Lakers through various injuries early on. But after returning in December after a one-day stay in health and safety protocols, James played the next 25 games for the Lakers, an important period given Anthony Davis’ injury during that span.
Now, though, James is set to miss not just Wednesday’s game but, potentially, more moving forward, based on Charania’s report. After the Blazers, the Lakers have a back-to-back against the Clippers on Thursday before hosting the Knicks on Saturday and the Bucks next Tuesday, Feb. 8. James did not play in the previous match-ups with either the Knicks or Bucks, the former as a result of his suspension for the incident involving Isaiah Stewart of the Pistons and the latter as he was still recovering from an ab injury.
The team has seven more games in total before the All-Star break, including stops in Portland and Golden State before a home game against Utah. How many of those James misses is unknown, but the Lakers badly need him around if they’re going to make a run out of the play-in game and securely into the playoffs.