While the Los Angeles Lakers notched an impressive win over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, it came at a significant cost as both LeBron James and Rajon Rondo (sprained right ring finger) were injured.
James suffered what was diagnosed as a groin strain in the third quarter when he slipped while attempting to recover his dribble. Cameras showed James appearing to tell Lakers trainer Marco Nuñez that he felt a “pop.”
James attempted to stretch during a timeout but walked gingerly to the locker room and never returned. An MRI the following morning confirmed the strain and the Lakers deemed James day to day.
However, signs may be pointing to somewhat of an extended absence because of the severity of the strain, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski:
While an MRI revealed LeBron James sidestepped serious injury, the All-NBA forward did sustain a significant left groin strain and the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing for him to miss several games, league sources told ESPN.
The Lakers are calling James’ absence “day to day,” but sources told ESPN there is a healing process that needs to occur before James can return to the lineup.
The Lakers have already ruled James out for Thursday’s game with the Sacramento Kings, and the latest report suggests he’s likely to miss Friday’s contest against the Clippers. The Lakers complete their weekend schedule by hosting the Kings on Sunday.
James historically has been in great health and largely avoided long-term absences because of injury. He’s coming off a season in which he played in all 82 games in a single season for the first time in his career.
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