NBA insider Shams Charania revealed that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James played the “last few months” of the 2022-23 season with a torn tendon in his foot.
Charania explained James’ situation on the Pat McAfee Show on Thursday.
"LeBron James played the last few months of the season with a torn tendon in his foot that could need surgery this summer..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 25, 2023
“And he plays, Pat, the last few months of the season with a torn tendon in his foot that could need surgery this summer,” Charania said. “I’m told he’s going to be reevaluating that foot. It’s very possible he might need surgery on that foot that could sideline him for two months.”
The bright side for Lakers fans is that this seems to be an injury that James can clear up during the offseason, which would allow him to play in the 2023-24 season if he doesn’t retire. The four-time champion hinted that he’s considering retirement following the team’s Western Conference Finals loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Despite his foot injury, James played an incredible brand of basketball in the 2022-23 season. The 38-year-old averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season.
He was terrific all season long for the Lakers, breaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record in the process.
During the playoffs, James’ 3-point shooting fell off a bit (26.4 percent), but he still led the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals while putting up impressive numbers. The future Hall of Famer averaged 24.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game in the playoffs.
In Game 4 against the Nuggets, James left everything he had on the floor, scoring 40 points and nearly picking up a triple-double in the loss.
There’s no doubt that James can still play at a high level despite his age, but it depends on whether or not his body can hold up for another NBA season.
The four-time champion has dealt with foot and ankle injuries in consecutive seasons, making it hard for him to stay on the floor for an entire season. Since coming to the Lakers, James has played more than 56 games in a season just once.
It will be interesting for the Lakers and their fans to see how James’ approaches his foot injury this offseason and how it could influence his decision to return to basketball for the 2023-24 season.