The Los Angeles Lakers will be without LeBron James for at least one week due to an abdominal strain, Bill Reiter of CBS Sports confirms. James suffered the injury during L.A.’s 119-117 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. In that game, James had 30 points, 10 assists and four rebounds in 30 minutes of action.
At this early point in the season, the Lakers obviously want to be cautious with any ailment to their key contributors as the ultimate goal is to have the team healthy — or as close to it as possible — for postseason play. As such, there won’t be any pressure on James, 36, to rush back. In James’ absence, Carmelo Anthony’s workload will likely increase as he is a logical candidate to replace James in Los Angeles’ starting lineup.
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The Lakers’ upcoming schedule features five games between Thursday night and next Friday. They will host the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight, then travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers on Saturday night. The Lakers will then return home for five straight games against the Hornets, Heat, Timberwolves. Spurs and Bulls, respectively. Perhaps James, who has already missed a pair of games early this season with a sore right ankle, will return to action at some point during that homestand.
The Lakers lost their first two games of the season, but they quickly bounced back and have won five of their last six games since. They currently sit fifth in the Western Conference standings with a 5-3 record to start the season. James is currently second on the Lakers in scoring (24.8 points per game) and assists (7.0 per game), and first in minutes per game (37.0) and steals per game (2.3).