Wednesday, January 19 2022
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The Los Angeles Lakers have been virtually silent on LeBron James‘ abdominal injury since ruling him out for at least a week last Thursday, but perhaps no news is good news. The rectus abdominisctus muscle strain that has sidelined James for the past four games is not severe, nor is it expected to keep him out for an extended stretch, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst

Here’s what Windhorst said on ESPN’s “This Just In” on Wednesday: “This is not a severe injury. He is rehabbing this, and, from what I am told, the rehab is going well. He may have to do some reconditioning a little bit, but this is not going to keep him out an extended period.”

The Lakers are thoroughly banged up — you can now add rookie Austin Reaves to the list, by the way —  but nothing that is happening right now is of any importance in comparison to James’ medium- and long-term health. For all the talk about Russell Westbrook’s easing their burden, it should be clear by now that James and Anthony Davis will have to carry an enormous load on both ends for this team to succeed. When Los Angeles eventually has something resembling its full complement of players available, it will have plenty of questions to answer, but they’re all are moot if James isn’t playing at an MVP level. If the team is being extra cautious about James’ injury, then, so be it.

When Vogel first addressed James’ injury, he said that he hoped it would be “minimal.” He also said that the medical staff didn’t believe it was related to the groin injury that kept James out of the lineup for much of the 2018-19 season. Since then, Vogel has offered no updates on James’ status or potential timetable to return, and, with a player of this magnitude, that vacuum of information tends to be filled by speculation. Sometimes, that speculation is of the doom-and-gloom variety. This report, however, suggests that, while James isn’t necessarily about to come back right away, his continued absence isn’t cause for alarm.



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