Fresh off scoring 56 points in a win over the Warriors on Saturday, LeBron James will miss Monday’s game against the Spurs with left knee soreness, Frank Vogel revealed prior to the game. James has been managing the soreness in his knee since missing five games in late January and early February.
James had managed the injury in the 10 games since returning back to the lineup and, as Vogel said on Monday, generally experienced soreness in his knee in the day after the game but saw it subside in the days that followed.
This time around, though, was different.
The Lakers have been managing James’ knee pain since he missed games with swelling. Vogel says he typically feels pain the day after games. It just hasn’t subsided today like it normally does. https://t.co/4qKppzNgCg— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) March 8, 2022
Vogel said the Lakers are hopeful that LeBron can play at Houston (Wednesday); they’ll see how his knee feels tomorrow and go from there.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 8, 2022
There was some expectation that LeBron could miss a few games after the initial diagnosis of the knee swelling.
After Monday’s game, the Lakers will be off until Wednesday when they travel to Houston. Vogel said the team is “hopeful” that James would return for that game with the injury, for now, not expected to be long-term.
That being said, James’ last absence due to the knee injury featured many of the same details with soreness that wasn’t subsiding. Prior to the All-Star break, James spoke then about his injury and said the only way for it to fully heal was rest, a luxury unavailable to him.
LeBron says that the only way for his knee to get fully healthy is rest and he "doesn't have the luxury" of getting rest right now— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) February 15, 2022
Without Anthony Davis, James was forced to burden a massive load for the Lakers. With him also out of the lineup now, a huge burden will fall almost entirely on Russell Westbrook. In one of the few games James and Davis both did not play this year, Westbrook exploded for 35 points in a loss to Charlotte.
The good news is that the Lakers are facing two of their weaker opponents on the schedule in the coming days in San Antonio and Houston. But with the team desperately needing victories to maintain their spot in the play-in games, James injury will put the Lakers in quite a predicament on Monday and, potentially, for longer.