As he continues to deal with a lingering knee issue, LeBron James is set to miss his fifth-straight game on Thursday against the Clippers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The good news, though, is that this is still not expected to be a long-term injury for the Lakers star.
Appearing on Bally Sports’ “The Rally,” Charania detailed where James is at currently with his injury, and when he may return.
“LeBron James is going to continue to manage that knee injury. He’s dealing with a level of irritation, I’m told. So, it’ll be a day-to-day treatment, managing program that LeBron James will have. He’s expected to miss his fifth straight game on the road... he’s officially listed as doubtful. And he’s going to continue to rehab over the next several days, continue to get treatment and the hope he is that he’s back the next few days, if not the next few games.”
James did not take part in the Lakers practice on Tuesday, nor their shootaround on Wednesday prior to their win over the Blazers.
Before the game, though, Vogel noted that James would be out, but that things were trending upward, which this update only further hints that he’s moving in the right direction:
#Lakers #LeBron update:— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) February 3, 2022
- Another positive indicator that LeBron is trending well
- Coach Vogel also indicated in last night’s pre-game that Bron is improving
- Timeline & approach remains the same: See how the knee responds on a daily basis & go from there https://t.co/khF5EmFCDv
James took part in the Lakers’ game against the Nets on Tuesday, Jan. 25 but has not suited up since then. In his absence, the Lakers have struggled, losing the first three games without James before defeating Portland on Wednesday.
The Lakers’ current homestand offers the opportunity for James to continue to get treatment on his knee, which he has opted to do away from the team so far (with the team’s permission). James has not appeared on the sideline of either of the team’s last two games, having left the team’s road trip early while they played Atlanta to return to California for treatment on Sunday before receiving treatment elsewhere during the team’s game on Wednesday.
The team will not leave Los Angeles for a game until next Wednesday, Feb. 9, when they’ll go on a brief two-game road trip that will still keep them on the West Coast. The Lakers close out the pre-All-Star break portion of the schedule against Utah and the Clippers, giving James an extended amount of time in Los Angeles before the week-long break for the All-Star break.
Hopefully, all of that will provide ample time for James to get healthy and return to the court, where the team sorely needs the All-Star forward in order to make a run at getting out of the play-in game and securing their spot in the playoffs.