The LA Lakers have operated over the last month without star forward LeBron James due to an ankle injury. James has continued to steadily recover from the ailment with an imminent return to the floor. The four-time league MVP has now ramped up that chatter after his latest social media post.
LeBron James sidelined with an ankle injury
LeBron James’ MVP bid took a massive hit last month after suffering a high right ankle sprain.
James was on his way to possibly become the clear-cut frontrunner for the prestigious award. In 41 games played, he is averaging 25.4 points on 51.3% shooting from the floor and 36.8% from 3-point range, along with 7.9 assists and 7.9 rebounds.
The loss of James paired with Anthony Davis foreseeably saw the Lakers slide a bit down the standings. LA has fallen from the second overall seed to the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
However, the Lakers now a big reason for optimism ahead concerning James’ health.
LeBron James drops a huge hint about his return to the Lakers
The Lakers have now been without Lebron James in the fold for an entire month, bringing pressing questions concerning his return.
James is now in the front window of the initial four to six-week timetable for his high right ankle sprain. He has continued to progress in his rehab, which has led the 36-year-old to send an encouraging message via Instagram concerning his health.
The four-time league MVP posted a video of himself running on the court during a drill to which he captioned, “Coming soon to a city near you. I’M REALLY REALLY REAL”
It’s quite a promising sign to see James running on his ankle while his strong proclamation suggests that he’s quite close to returning to the floor. His latest Instagram post comes a few days after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that he could play as early as this week.
There are likely a couple more hurdles for him to clear first before he’s cleared to return, but the latest video certainly suggests he’s extremely close to being back in the fold.
The Lakers will continue to handle the situation carefully, given the sensitivity of the injury. However, it’s hard to deny that James knows that he will on the floor again shortly.
Lakers’ NBA title odds lie on their stars’ shoulders
The Lakers have traveled a bumpy path over the last several weeks with their stars out of the lineup.
The significant injuries coupled with the regular season nearing a close have only created outside doubt around the team’s NBA title chances. In other words, there is growing skepticism that the Lakers will have enough time to get into form for a strong playoff push.
However, Anthony Davis has finally returned to the floor last week after a two-month absence. As expected, Davis showed the rust from not playing for a lengthy stretch. In his first two games, he averaged 10.5 points on 24.1% shooting from the floor with 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 22.5 minutes per contest.
Davis clearly needs to get his legs under him, but he was able to play 28 minutes in his second game back. He will have the next couple of weeks to get his body reacclimated before the playoffs. Yes, the clock is ticking on the remaining regular season, but it may be enough time for the Lakers to get back on track in time to prepare for another NBA title run.