For so much of the last two seasons, the Lakers have needed LeBron James to play like a superhero in order to have any form of success and even that wasn’t often enough. In some ways, it’s a cruel twist of fate that his latest injury coincides with the Lakers finally having a team that can more than stay afloat without him.
The Lakers, with LeBron in a boot watching from the sideline, have reeled off a string of wins in recent wings that has them in the ninth seed in the Western Conference and just a game back of the sixth seed. It’s come at a time when LeBron isn’t only out, but his return is up in the air.
He won’t yet be re-evaluated for multiple more weeks and even then, it’s not guaranteed when he’ll return. But that’s not to say he’s sitting back without doing what he can to return. On ESPN’s “Get Up” on Friday, Brian Windhorst revealed the lengths LeBron is going to in hopes of getting back on the court (h/t GeniusLakersFan/Twitter)
“From what I am told, LeBron is turning over every stone he possibly can from a treatment perspective to get that foot in a position to return at some point this season...They still have a window to do something special this season and they sense it. You can tell by the way AD is playing, you can tell by the way LeBron is trying everything he can to get back that they sense there’s still opportunity.”
The problem with trying to project LeBron’s return is that there’s been next to nothing revealed about what his injury is. The Lakers have described it only as a tendon injury which is incredibly vague.
Because of that, it’s really just a guessing game on when LeBron would return. It might be an injury he can play through if he has a high pain tolerance, depending on some reports. He played through the injury initially against the Mavs as some proof of that theory.
It’ll be a risk-reward proposition for LeBron though. He’s not going to risk his long-term health for nothing. This Lakers team is not nothing, though. It’s a team that is winning games against good teams without LeBron.
How much will that impact LeBron’s decision? Clearly it’s weighing on him to some degree. He wants to be back on the court playing winning basketball in L.A. again. The team is already playing great without him, imagine what they could be with him.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.