The Los Angeles Lakers simply cannot catch a break when it comes to injuries. Anthony Davis returned to the lineup last Tuesday for a victory over the Brooklyn Nets after a lengthy absence, but as soon as one star returns to the fold, another misses time. That has been the case as LeBron James has now been sidelined three games and counting due to left knee soreness, including Sunday’s contest against the Atlanta Hawks.
Frank Vogel said ahead of the Hawks game that James underwent an MRI, which revealed general swelling in the knee. The Lakers head coach said the superstar remains back in L.A. beginning treatment, and will remain out “as long as the swelling is there.”
The Lakers are reaching the end of a long six-game road trip. Following the matchup with the Hawks, they’ll then return to Los Angeles for games against the Blazers, Knicks and Clippers before hitting the road again.
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James missed 13 games earlier in the season due in large part to an abdominal strain, but has been as dominant as ever in the games that he has played. The 19-year veteran is averaging 29.1 points per game on his best efficiency as a Laker. His team might be 24-26 due in large part to the injuries they’ve sustained, but James has more than done his part to keep the Lakers afloat.
Now they’ll rely on Davis and Russell Westbrook to keep the team moving without its best player. Teams with sub-.500 records midway through the season can’t afford to be without their leaders for sustained periods, so the Lakers will need James back in the fold as soon as possible.