It’s not time to panic just yet, but LeBron James may sit out for the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
The superstar is listed as doubtful as the Lakers try to bounce back from their two-game losing streak. Head coach Frank Vogel recently commented on the team situation, with sources also giving an indication of what’s going on with LeBron.
LeBron James injury status vs Nuggets is ‘doubtful’
On Saturday evening, Brett Dawson reported that James is dealing with a thoracic muscle strain, which is a pull in his rib cage area. Due to that, LeBron is probably not going to appear in his team’s contest against the Nuggets. In his place, fans should expect to see Kyle Kuzma while James tries to heal up a bit.
LeBron James did not practice today and is doubtful for tomorrow’s Denver game with a thoracic muscle strain.
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) December 21, 2019
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, LeBron suffered the injury against the Indiana Pacers. However, he played through it in that game and then against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Windhorst said that sources told ESPN, it’s a “significant issue and not just a load management situation.” Now the team is exercising caution, but so far there have been no reports of any MRI or other evaluations for the injury.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel commented on the situation. “If [James] doesn’t go [Sunday] then we’ll need a group effort,” Vogel told reporters Saturday. “We’ll release starting lineups and all that stuff tomorrow but it’s one of those things that no one person can pick up everything that LeBron does for our team, so just have to be a group effort.”
Lakers approaching big Christmas Day game
While the game against the Milwaukee Bucks was an interesting test and possible NBA Finals preview, now the team will have another test coming up.
Several days after their matchup against Denver, LeBron and the Lakers are set to face the Los Angeles Clippers in Staples Center. That will be part of the NBA’s Christmas Day schedule for fans to enjoy and hopefully, LeBron is good to go.
Right now, the Lakers hold a three-game lead in the West over the team they share their home venue with.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 22, 2019
James is averaging 25.8 points, 10.6 assists, and 7.5 rebounds per game this season as his team currently rules the Western Conference. However, the recent losses have caused concerns as well as Anthony Davis also suffering an ankle issue.
LeBron James participated in last season’s Christmas Day matchup against the Golden State Warriors and suffered a groin injury in the game that kept him out for a good stretch of the season. It ultimately seemed to cost the team their chances of a playoff spot by the time LeBron was able to play again.
Now the Los Angeles Lakers will use caution to make sure they aren’t rushing any of their top stars back from injury too soon.
The Lakers host the Denver Nuggets starting at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday night.