Lakers superstar LeBron James has been playing at an extremely high level this season and, for all the talk of his minutes restriction early on, he’s currently averaging 34.1 minutes per game.
Even with that workload and minutes, he’s played in nearly every game this season even though he’s been listed as questionable on the injury report for the majority of the season, most recently with a calf contusion. However, LeBron missed Thursday’s Timberwolves game with left ankle peroneal tendinopathy.
What does that mean and how concerning is it? I took a closer look in the following video.
The overall theme here is that LeBron is managing discomfort and that’s truly the name of the game at this level, especially for high-level players who are counted on to do heavy lifting. For example, Anthony Davis has also been managing certain issues all season and continues to navigate and play through them.
What we don’t know yet is how serious the issue is or if it’s just discomfort. If it’s the latter, I would fully expect James to still be playing through it, but managing it day to day and thus continue to have the “questionable” injury designation.
The last thing the team needs is him missing time as they continue to slog through this brutal December schedule.
As always, I’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
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.