NBA insider Chris Haynes recently spoke about the situation on his podcast, revealing that James won’t require surgery. Haynes also offered some more interesting information.
“So what I can say on LeBron is that sources did inform me that he will not require surgery,” Haynes said. “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 got to win. They’ve got to keep winning. They’ve got to buy him time.”
The Lakers picked up a needed win on Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, another team that is in the race for a play-in tournament spot. The thrilling comeback win moved the Lakers up to 11th in the Western Conference, though they remain one game behind the New Orleans Pelicans in 10th place, the final seed that will make the play-in tournament.
In just under two weeks, the Lakers and Pelicans will face off in New Orleans in what might end up determining who makes it to the postseason and who gets a head start on the offseason.
While on the court this season, James has continued to show that he remains one of the league’s best players. He’s averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while knocking down 50.1 percent of his shots and 30.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
The Lakers are 6-10 without the four-time MVP in the lineup this season. They’ll have to improve that mark over the next few games if they want to stay alive in the race for the postseason.
Players like Anthony Davis, who missed Wednesday’s game, and D’Angelo Russell, who is battling an ankle injury, will need to step up in every way possible until James makes his return.
Los Angeles is set to start off a five-game home stand on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are in eighth place in the West and 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers.