LeBron James surprised basically everybody on Sunday by returning to the Lakers lineup well, well ahead of schedule. While every report tabbed his return as coming in the final week of the season, LeBron ended up coming back with more than a half-dozen games to spare.
Naturally, in peak LeBron fashion, he credited his return to the work of the “LeBron James of feet” — yes, really — and ultimately came back multiple weeks earlier than most do with the same or similar injuries. Jokes aside, it is a testament to how much LeBron focuses and spends on his body to stay at the top level.
Even though he returned ahead of schedule on Sunday, that doesn’t mean he’s fully healthy. After the game, LeBron spoke to reporters and revealed that he still may need surgery in the offseason.
“I don’t know. Right now I don’t need it, so we’ll see what happens,” LeBron said, via Spectrum. “I’ll probably get another MRI at the end of the season and go from there. But if I get it, if I end up having to get surgery, you guys won’t know. I don’t talk to you guys in the offseason and by the time next season start, I’ll be fine and ready to go.”
This does mean that LeBron probably isn’t going to be completely healthy for the rest of the season, however long that lasts. On Sunday, though, it didn’t look like LeBron was limited physically, particularly the deeper into the game he got.
Will he be able to hold up for the rest of the season? It’s a fair question, but also one we won’t have an answer to until, well, the rest of the season is done. He’s not going to be afforded any sort of rest days because every game matters for the Lakers the rest of the way until the postseason starts.
At the end of the day, the Lakers need him on the court. Even if it means he’s less than 100%. Even if it means there’s a risk of injury. This Lakers team has a chance to be competitive and, for LeBron, that’s enough to take this calculated risk.
But it could lead to an interesting offseason once again for him and the Lakers.
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