In their best team performance of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers unfortunately lost LeBron James after he heard a ‘pop’ in his groin area.
As the initial exam revealed a left groin strain, an MRI later confirmed those results and James is considered day-to-day. However, at minimum, he will not play Thursday against the Sacramento Kings.
With James reportedly expected to miss at least a couple of games, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry had a similar injury earlier in the season that forced him to miss 11 games.
Following a 127-101 loss on Christmas Day, Curry detailed his own experiences with the groin injury and offered advice to James, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
“You got to take those first four or five days, that was what my experience was, to make sure you don’t do any more damage,” Curry told The Undefeated. “You have to let the healing process start. That is one you can’t really rush. That is how I felt because it was such a delicate area.”
Along with being patient, Curry shared his biggest frustration with the recovery:
“The biggest frustration is that you get to a point where you are pain-free but you still have to be a little bit more cautious,” Curry said. “I don’t know the severity [of LeBron’s injury], but becoming pain-free is just one step. And then you have to ramp up your load on the court to make sure everything you do won’t set you back. That is the one thing that you can’t afford with that injury, is to keep reinjuring it.”
While the severity of the injury may be different, James will need to be patient. At 33 years old and in his 16th season, he is extremely durable, but the Lakers have been cautious with players since president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over.
As Josh Hart believes he and the young core can ‘hold our own’ without James, the Lakers will need to keep pace in the Western Conference. At 20-14 and in fourth place, only two games separate them from the San Antonio Spurs, who are currently in ninth place.
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