Report: LeBron’s right foot is feeling ‘much better,’ will need ‘significant chunk’ of regular season to ramp up

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

NBA insider Sham Charania provided a cautiously optimistic update on the status of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James as he recovers from a foot injury.

It is good news that James’ foot is feeling better, especially since he was playing through the injury for a portion of the 2022-23 season.

However, it appears that the superstar may not be able to return for many of the Lakers’ remaining 14 regular season games. That means Anthony Davis and company will need to get the Lakers into at least the play-in tournament to truly give James a chance to make an impact on the rest of the team’s season.

Entering Tuesday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers hold the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, but they have the same record as New Orleans and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James has reportedly been “turning over every stone” to return for the Lakers this season. He hasn’t appeared in a game since injuring his foot against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 26.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer has appeared in 47 games for the Lakers this season and is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.

A 19-time All-Star, James could be the difference for the Lakers in the play-in tournament, if they make it there this season. It’s certainly a good sign that his foot is improving, but the team clearly isn’t banking on him carrying it through the end of the season.

Luckily for Lakers fans, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office made the necessary moves at the trade deadline to hedge an injury to James or Davis.

Since the league’s deadline on Feb. 9, the Lakers have gone 8-4, and each of their additions have brought something to the table.

The return of D’Angelo Russell from an ankle injury should give Los Angeles another go-to option on offense alongside Davis with James out.

Injuries have frustrated James in the past few seasons, as an ankle injury forced him to miss a good chunk of the end of the regular season in the 2020-21 campaign. While Los Angeles still made the playoffs, James didn’t have a ton of time to get back to his usual self ahead of the play-in tournament and first round.

He may be in a similar situation this season, but the Lakers are hoping they are equipped to handle James’ absence as they look to make a playoff push.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.