The Lakers’ late-season push looks set to start off on the right foot...literally. Ahead of Thursday’s return to action against the Warriors, LeBron James is listed as probable with left foot soreness.
LeBron missed two of the last three games prior to the All-Star break with the same injury.
Lakers' status report lists both LeBron and AD as PROBABLE for tomorrow night's game vs. Golden State pic.twitter.com/RqzW8QT8W0— Cooper Halpern (@CooperHalpern) February 23, 2023
For a number of reasons, this is an encouraging sign. Obviously, having LeBron available drastically improves the Lakers’ chances of winning. He didn’t look all that bothered by his foot during the first half of the All-Star Game either.
That is the other thing of note is that LeBron’s finger does not appear to be a problem. He was ruled out at halftime of Sunday’s exhibition with a finger injury he suffered trying to actually play defense, which may explain everyone else’s reluctance the remainder of the game.
At practice on Wednesday, head coach Darvin Ham noted the finger was not a worry despite LeBron not practicing.
“The finger is not an issue at all” - Darvin Ham says. https://t.co/AtUCe1p2br— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 22, 2023
LeBron made his thoughts on the remainder of the season pretty clear during his press conference for All-Star weekend. In fact, he called it “23 of the most important games of my career for the regular season.”
Having LeBron with that mindset and healthy(ish?) heading into this stretch will be huge positives. As for the Warriors, the team announced that Steph Curry would still be out for the contest on Wednesday.
Stephen Curry injury update: pic.twitter.com/5a8Euai9IX— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) February 22, 2023
Golden State also will be without Andrew Wiggins as he remains out due to personal reasons. Wiggins missed the final game prior to the All-Star break due to personal reasons as well.
Put it all together, and it’s set up for the Lakers to start off the final 23 games strong. They’ll certainly need all the momentum they can build to make their postseason push.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.