As LeBron James Misses More Action, a Confident 1-Word Answer About His Health Should Give Lakers Fans the Hope They Crave

The Los Angeles Lakers have moved through the bulk of the early 2021-22 campaign with LeBron James sidelined. James is working through an abdominal injury that has kept him off the court for nearly two weeks. Despite that, the Lakers fans may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding the star forward’s return.

LeBron James sidelined with abdominal injury

James entered his 19th season hoping to finally put his injury woes behind him, but that hasn’t been the case.

The four-time league MVP initially missed two games due to a right leg injury scare. However, his return was short-lived after aggravating his abdomen in the Nov. 2 win against the Houston Rockets. James has since remained sidelined, without a set timetable for his return.

Lakers fans may now have reason to be optimistic about the star forward’s health.

As LeBron James misses more action, a confident 1-word answer about his health should give Lakers fans the hope they crave

Since James became sidelined, there remains much mystery concerning the extent of his injury.

The lack of clarity created significant outside doubt behind the growing notion that he’s amid a lengthy absence. The Lakers have since dispelled that by stating that the 36-year-old is moving through his recovery. Head coach Frank Vogel recently took it further by voicing that James is “looking good” in his workouts.

“He looks good. He’s moving. He hasn’t done a full practice or contact yet but he’s looking good moving around in his individual work,” Vogel said via Silver Screen and Roll.

After the Lakers’ win on Sunday against the Spurs, ESPN‘s Dave McMenamin revealed that James will make his return “soon.” Although it doesn’t precisely place an exact timeline, it does indicate that he’s not far off. Los Angeles will continue to operate with caution due to the sensitivity of the injury.

He’s already missed nearly two weeks, which will likely bleed closer to Thanksgiving as he’s yet to participate in practice with any contact. Once he takes that necessary step, an accurate timetable can be set. 

Until then, the Lakers will closely monitor James as he progresses forward through increased on-court work.

Los Angeles must continue to build invaluable on-court chemistry

As James remains sidelined, the Lakers are working toward keeping the boat afloat.

Los Angeles holds a 3-3 record without the star forward, winning three out of its last four games. The team has struggled to find consistency without James as their performance fluctuates. However, the Lakers are coming off an encouraging offensive showing in Sunday’s win against the Spurs.

Six players finished with double-figure scoring while their strong outside shooting continued, hitting at a 48.4% clip from 3-point range. Anthony Davis led the charge with a game-high 34 points, while third-year guard Talen Horton-Tucker provided a huge spark in his season debut, scoring 17 points.

Horton-Tucker’s return presents the Lakers with another ball handler that takes some of the increased pressure off Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo with James sidelined. Meanwhile, Westbrook continues to work through his adjustments but leads the league with 5.4 turnovers per contest.

Despite those issues, he’s shown marked improvement with his 3-point shooting, hitting at a 38.6% mark over the last 10 games. Historically, Westbrook has struggled from beyond the arc (30.6%), but that recent efficiency is a welcoming sight.

The Lakers hold a challenging upcoming schedule with matchups against the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks. With James’ return around the corner, the team must stay the course.

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