Facing the prospect of a loss eliminating them from potentially reaching the NBA Playoffs for a sixth consecutive season, the Los Angeles Lakers will see the return of LeBron James after he missed a game due to a sore left groin.
James missed 17 consecutive games after suffering a strained groin on Christmas. In addition to having his minutes more closely monitored, he hasn’t played in three games for reasons related to the injury since returning.
“Like I told you when I came back, it’s every day,” James said of monitoring his health. “Every day I’m trying to get back to before the injury. So, every day, no matter when you feel great, you’ve still got to continue to strengthen everything around it.
“It’s a very delicate part of your body. It’s just managing it and not taking steps backwards. At this point in the season, that’s the last thing I would want, is to take a step backwards.”
While James is returning to the court, the Lakers won’t have Josh Hart as he continues to be bothered by tendinitis in his right knee. Hart intimated he was due to meet with doctors by the end of this week to determine a course of action for the remainder of the season.
“Sore knee, so we’ll see (about Hart’s status moving forward),” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said.
Hart has been bothered by tendinitis for much of the season, and recently said a PRP injection prior to the All-Star break did not provide much relief. Hart is in the process of meeting with the team’s medical staff about options for his knee.