Lakers’ superstar LeBron James suffered a foot tendon injury last season vs. the Dallas Mavericks, but despite multiple doctors telling him to get season-ending surgery, he was able to return during the regular season and into the playoffs. LeBron’s injury management — a huge credit to his trainer Mike Mancias — is second to none, but that management was more so out of necessity due to timeline than any preference.
Even when LeBron did return, there were clear signs that he wasn’t close to 100% — for example, his first step acceleration and burst weren’t there at previous levels, something you may have also noted after his high ankle sprain during the 2021 season.
With a full summer to recover between the end of last season and training camp, the question becomes just how far along James is in his return to 100% and, projecting forward, if there is anything to worry about with that tendon during this coming season.
I explored those two topics and more in the following video:
Although we have yet to see LeBron suit up for the team — and he won’t be playing in the preseason opener, managing his workload and ramping up as he’s done for the majority of his career before the season begins — there are multiple positive indicators thus far including his burst being back and overall, looking quite spry.
As has been the case since James joined the Lakers, health will be paramount to the success of this team so let's hope those good vibes continue into the season and onwards.
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 and partners with Quantum Performance in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training background to rehab & train elite athletes. 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 over 5 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.