LeBron James is reportedly “severely struggling” with a left ankle injury and Lakers insiders can’t believe the amount of minutes he was playing. 38-year-old James has averaged 38.8 minutes in his last five games.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin spoke about it on Hoop Collective:
“Some of the people I speak to around the team, let’s put it that way, were like, ‘What are we doing here, playing him 40 minutes again?’” McMenamin said. “‘We’re going to run him into the ground?’ And it’s not the minutes necessarily. It’s the minutes while a player is dealing with something that’s been pervasive.”
Since the start of the 2020-21 season, LeBron has missed at least five games in a row a total of six times due to injury, whereas before he joined LA, he only missed five consecutive games three times in his whole career.
In good news for Lakers fans, McMenamin doesn’t think James’ latest injury will keep him on the sideline for an extended period.
“I don’t think he’s going to miss the All-Star Game,” McMenamin said. “I don’t think he’s going to miss these next two games prior to the All-Star break. He could miss the Portland game. Lisa Salters reported on the Saturday night broadcast that perhaps the Pelicans game at home is more likely. I reported that the Portland game was 50-50.”
With an updated roster, it seems LA may be able to string some wins together in LeBron’s absence and keep the Playoffs within reach, as they triumphed over a Steph Curry-less Warriors 103-109 in their latest game.