Is LeBron playing tonight? No, he's not. Let's get that out of the way right up front.
The Lakers have been trying to maintain their spot in the playoff race in the West while dealing with the absence of LeBron James. To say the very least, that's not the easiest of tasks. The living icon hurt himself on Christmas Day
James' injury return is still at least a week away. The latest update from the team holds that while his groin ailment is coming along, fans won't hear anything more until Jan. 16.
LeBron James officially out until at least Jan. 16 ... and realistically longer https://t.co/ge17X6NX87— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 10, 2019
That's right. The Lakers' big injury update is simply to state that another update will be coming later. Ridiculous.
The Lakers have gone 3-5 during James' absence and have fallen into the No. 8 seed in the highly competitive Western Conference. The team is taking it extremely cautiously with their superstar player and have practically monitored his every step since the injury.
This update says that he has been "cleared to increase on-court functional basketball movements," which is an unnecessary way of suggesting that James has in fact stepped foot on a basketball court since the injury.
A bizarre way to describe it, to be sure. Perhaps to distract from the fact that he could very well be out for more than just another week.
Injury Update: LeBron James was evaluated by team medical staff and physicians today and has been cleared to increase on-court functional basketball movements.https://t.co/7JUpmineRZ— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 10, 2019
LBJ is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game this season while shooting the three at a 35.6 percent clip, converting on 2.0 threes per game.
The Lakers will be hoping he's able to come back before the end of the month so that they can continue their push up the Western Conference standings. We will know more after he is reevaluated on Jan. 16.