Report: LeBron James to be sidelined ‘likely beyond’ 3-week timeline

Jonathan Sherman
4 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to weather the storm of LeBron James’ absence at the moment, and while it was reported that he’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks, it now looks as though his actual return will take longer than that.

James is dealing with a right foot tendon injury, and while he is making progress in his recovery, it looks like he may still be a far way off from returning.

“Three-week evaluation, re-evaluation for him, and even after that, I don’t know if the Lakers think he’s gonna be back in three weeks,” NBA insider Shams Charania said of James. “I don’t think it’ll be just the three weeks — likely beyond that. And so you put yourself in a position where you hope that he’s back right before the playoffs or he gets back for the play-in.”

The truth is that even if James’ evaluation in three weeks were to go well, the Lakers would likely still want to hold him out for as long as they can afford to do so. After all, the longer he can sit and recover, the more likely he will be closer to 100 percent health upon returning. There is also the fear that an early return could re-aggravate the injury.

The fact of the matter is that James’ potential return to the court will likely hinge strongly on how the Lakers perform from here on out. If the Lakers keep winning like they have been recently, it seems likely that they’ll be able to snag a spot in the play-in tournament or even possibly the playoff bracket outright.

Doing so without James would be a big win for the squad.

If the Lakers were to indeed secure a postseason spot without James’ help, they would likely want him to get a few games in before the end of the regular season to shake the dust off and get back into game shape. Should he end up missing the entire month of March, he’d have five games in April to tune up before the end of the regular season.

For now, the success of the Lakers is going to depend on star big man Anthony Davis and the team’s supporting cast. Moreover, D’Angelo Russell could be nearing his return from an ankle injury.

“He’s trending in the right direction. He’s day-to-day,” Darvin Ham said of Russell prior to his team’s big win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

“Again, there’s certain steps we take in terms of getting someone back on the game floor. It’s just not ‘OK, he’s made this many threes in an individual workout so let’s throw him out there.’ There’s steps we take, so he’s definitely trending in the right direction.”

Russell’s eventual return will definitely help the Lakers’ chances of winning lots of games while the team waits for James. The Lakers are just a half-game back from assuming the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference. They are 2.5 games back from the No. 6 seed.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.