LeBron cleared for more ac­tiv­ity, still not ready to play

Sun.Star Baguio - - Prime Sports -

EL SE­GUNDO, Calif. — LeBron James’ strained groin is turn­ing out to be per­haps the most sig­nif­i­cant in­jury of the fa­mously durable su­per­star’s 16-year NBA ca­reer.

James likely will miss at least three more games after be­ing cleared to in­crease his on-court ac­tiv­ity in his come­back from the in­jury, the Lak­ers an­nounced Thurs­day after an eval­u­a­tion by their med­i­cal staff.

The Lak­ers say James’ heal­ing is “pro­gress­ing,” and the four­time NBA MVP will par­tic­i­pate in more func­tional bas­ket­ball ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the up­com­ing week. But the team also says it will pro­vide an­other up­date on Jan. 16, which prob­a­bly means James will miss the Lak­ers’ three up­com­ing games against Utah, Cleve­land and Chicago.

If James sits out as ex­pected, he will miss 11 con­sec­u­tive games be­fore his next up­date, and he will have been out of ac­tion for over three weeks since get­ting hurt dur­ing the Lak­ers’ win at Golden State on Christ­mas.

Those are sig­nif­i­cant num­bers: James never missed more than 13 games dur­ing any of his first 15 NBA sea­sons, and he never sat out for more than two full weeks dur­ing his dec­o­rated tenures with the Cava­liers or the Mi­ami Heat.

The Lak­ers and James, who turned 34 last month, are be­ing pru­dent with this in­jury to a star fa­mous for play­ing through all types of phys­i­cal ail­ments, both ma­jor and mi­nor. He has never missed a play­off game de­spite in­nu­mer­able mi­nor knocks, and he played in all 82 games for the Cavs last sea­son while lead­ing the NBA in min­utes played in both the reg­u­lar sea­son and the post­sea­son.

Be­fore his in­jury, James was off to yet an­other out­stand­ing start in his first sea­son with the Lak­ers, who are a play­off con­tender after miss­ing the post­sea­son in a fran­chise-record five con­sec­u­tive years.

James is the NBA’s sixth-lead­ing scorer with 27.3 points per game along with 8.3 re­bounds and 7.1 as­sists. The Lak­ers (23-19) be­gan Thurs­day in eighth place in the Western Con­fer­ence stand­ings after beat­ing De­troit on Wed­nes­day night to im­prove to 3-5 in James’ ab­sence.

Fans haven’t for­got­ten about him, of course: James leads the NBA with 2,779,812 votes for a spot on the Western Con­fer­ence’s All-Star team, ac­cord­ing to re­turns re­leased ear­lier Thurs­day.

The Lak­ers trav­eled to Salt Lake City on Thurs­day to face the Jazz on Fri­day night, fol­lowed by a re­turn for home games against the Cavs and Bulls. The next up­date on James’ con­di­tion will be de­liv­ered one day be­fore the Lak­ers travel to Ok­la­homa City to be­gin a dif­fi­cult stretch of con­sec­u­tive games against the Thun­der, Rock­ets and War­riors.

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