The vagueness surrounding LeBron James’ most recent knee injury has led to a lack of clarity as to what the issue is and when he may come back. While there could be a bit of intentional ambiguity by both the Lakers and James, it does appear there is also some uncertainty as to what exactly is causing the general swelling in his left knee.
James missed the team’s shootaround on Wednesday morning after not taking part in practice on Tuesday. In both instances, the Lakers said James was away from the facility getting treatment on his knee. After shootaround, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported more on how long James will be absent from the team.
Here is the noteworthy update on James, transcribed:
“He’s not going to play again until that swelling subsides. The Lakers are sticking by that plan. They believe if he plays with the swelling in there, he could be at risk of further injuring himself. I’m told from a source close to LeBron they are exploring all options when it comes to treatment except they have ruled out the possibility of PRP. He will not be going with PRP as part of his ramp up to try to get back on the court.”
The Lakers have a string of games at home after a six-game road trip that could allow James some time to focus on getting his knee healthy, with or away from the team. The team will remain in Los Angeles until Tuesday, Feb. 9. In the slightly more distant future, the All-Star break begins after the team’s game against Utah on Feb. 16 and runs until the Lakers host the Clippers on Feb. 25.
Unfortunately, much of the Lakers season this year has been about weathering storms until the team gets healthy, spans that typically only last a small handful of games before another one goes down. Now, the lack of any sort of timeline for James’ return only adds to the cruel nature in which the team continues to have to endure injuries.
The small silver lining is that this does appear to be a preventative measure for James and the Lakers to avoid serious injury. But so long as his return appears murky and likely even after that, the frustration of constantly dealing with injuries will only grow.