After being as durable as any player of his generation throughout his career, injuries and wear and tear have crept up on LeBron James during his Lakers tenure. Specifically, in recent years, LeBron has battled through a number of nagging injuries that have cost him a handful of games here and there.
The most recent of those has been left foot soreness that, while vague in description, is a legitimate injury that has sidelined him a number of times in the last month and kept him on the injury report effectively every game. After sitting out Monday’s game in Brooklyn before playing Tuesday’s contest against the Knicks, LeBron was asked about the injury:
LeBron James said the soreness in his left foot varies “day to day” and it’s just about managing the pain.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 1, 2023
The certainly doesn’t feel like great news. It makes sense why LeBron is randomly missing some games with the injury and not others. But it doesn’t make it any more encouraging long-term.
Similar to an injury last year, the best route of healing for this one is rest, which LeBron can not do considering it’s the middle of the NBA season. And the All-Star break doesn’t offer someone like LeBron a chance at much rest.
The hope would be that the Lakers start to make a run, get back into the playoff race and are able to be more liberal in when and how often they rest LeBron. But things have hardly played out in an ideal sense this season.
Instead, it’ll likely just be games throughout the rest of the season in which he won’t be available. If it’s just sporadic games throughout the season where he plays seven or eight and sits one out, that’s about as close to a realistic best-case scenario as the Lakers can hope.