Lebron James will NOT need foot surgery and will be ‘re-evaluated’ in three weeks, as the Lakers get some welcome news amid playoff push
LeBron James will reportedly not need foot surgery and ‘probably could’ play right now ‘if he necessarily had to’ in a huge boost for the Los Angeles Lakers’ hopes to reach the playoffs, come around mid-April.
The 38-year-old, who’ll be absent for ‘multiple weeks’, per Shams Charania, of The Athletic, is dealing with right foot soreness.
James was seen limping while leaving American Airlines Center following the Lakers’ win over the Mavericks on Sunday, though the team plans to ‘re-evaluate’ its star forward in three weeks, according to ESPN’s Adrian ‘Woj’ Wojnarowski on Twitter.
‘So what I can say on LeBron is that sources did inform me that he will not require surgery,’ Bleacher Reporter’s Chris Haynes said on #thisleague Uncut podcast on Thursday.
‘That’s good news. […] Could Lebron get out there and play right now? It’d be a risk, but I think he probably could if he necessarily had to. But it’s too much of a risk. It’s too much pain right now. The plan right now is to get him as much time to heal for this rehab process, but the Lakers have to win.’
‘They’ve got to keep winning. ‘ the NBA insider added, just a day after the Purple and Gold beat the Oklahoma City Thunder without James and its two other All-Stars, star forward Anthony Davis and guard D’Angelo Russell. ‘They’ve got to buy him time.’
RISKY BUSINESS: LeBron James could play through injury right now but ‘it’d be a risk’, per Chris Haynes, an NBA insider for Bleacher Report
The Lakers beat the Thunder Wednesday without James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell
Wednesday’s win moved the Lakers up to the 11th seed in the Western Conference, though the team still trails the New Orleans Pelicans, who occupy the final seed that will make the play-in tournament, by a single game.
Both sides will face off at Smoothie King Center in just under two weeks, in what will be a crucial game in determining which teams reach the postseason.
Between the two franchises, the Pelicans are the ones struggling at the moment, having won only two of their last seven games, including a win against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.
According to ESPN, star center Zion Williamson ‘continues to make progress’ in his recovery from a right hamstring strain that has kept him out for nearly the last two months. It’s unknown if he’ll be fit in time to face the Lakers on March 14.
Without James, the Lakers are 6-10 this season in a statistical boost for New Orleans. The Purple and Gold will have to improve that record over their last 19 games of the regular season, if they want to keep their heads above water in the race for the playoffs.
Davis, who sat out of Wednesday’s win, and Russell, who’s sidelined with an ankle injury, will need to carry the scoring torch for L.A. until James makes his return.
In ‘The King’s’ absence, the Lakers will have a chance to turn Crypto.com Arena into a fortress. The Purple and Gold start a five-game home run on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, another team fighting to make the playoffs.
The T-Wolves are the West’s eighth seed, as things stand, and are 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers. James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game this season, shooting 50.1 percent overall and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.
LA faces the tenth-place Pelicans on March 14 in a tense matchup for the race to reach the playoffs. Zion Williamson, who’s been out for nearly two months, could miss the contest