Fresh off the heels of a big victory on Sunday, the Lakers may have been dealt a very serious setback. LeBron James, who is listed as out for Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies, could reportedly miss extended time with a right foot injury.
According to multiple reports — all of which still are lacking clarity on what this malady is, exactly, as James solicits second and third opinions — James could miss “multiple weeks” with the still-mysterious injury:
James miraculously played through the injury that is now expected to require multiple opinions, sources said, and the Lakers are bracing for his absence to be multiple weeks. https://t.co/zuovQ2wVzc— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 28, 2023
New story: There is fear that LeBron James could miss several weeks with a right foot injury, sources told @wojespn. James will undergo further testing and evaluations on the injury in the meantime https://t.co/UqCalMsQWG— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 28, 2023
There is little detail so far about James’ injury other than the Lakers classifying it as “right foot soreness” on the injury report. After suffering the injury in Sunday’s game, on-court mics picked up LeBron saying he “heard it pop.”
Our own Dr. Rajpal Brar broke down several scenarios of what this could be based on the information we have:
LeBron himself weighed in on the matter on his Instagram story on Monday afternoon.
From LeBron’s Instagram story just now pic.twitter.com/lBlcIeWK7J— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 27, 2023
After the game, head coach Darvin Ham said LeBron’s foot was “good,” However, good was a pretty relative term as it certainly appears he could be set to miss some time through the injury.
If this is starting to feel a lot like a rerun of an old movie, then you’re right as this is playing out similar to the 2020-21 season when LeBron was up against the clock to return as the Lakers languished in the play-in race, trying to save themselves from missing the postseason entirely.
If the term “weeks” is being thrown around, it could get pretty dicey, as there aren’t many of those left in the season. With the season running until April 9, there are only about five or six weeks left, meaning time is going to very quickly dwindle down. All this comes with the team also needing to make up ground in the playoff race, a big difference from the 2020-21 season when they had a built-in cushion and just needed to hold on.
In the short-term, the Lakers finish up a road trip in Memphis — a game which D’Angelo Russell is also listed as doubtful for — and Oklahoma City before returning home for a rather lengthy homestand.
Ten of the team’s 12 games between March 3 and March 26 are in Los Angeles, which would allow James the ability to rehabilitate and get treatment at home. But nothing about this feels particularly good, and the Lakers’ backs are firmly against the wall now.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.