LeBron James injury update: Lakers star (groin) expected to miss several games, report says

Although LeBron James says he “dodged a bullet” after an MRI exam showed no serious damage to his strained groin, the injury is significant enough that the Lakers are preparing for the All-NBA forward to miss several games, ESPN.com reported Thursday, citing unidentified league sources.

The Lakers are calling James’ absence “day to day,” but ESPN’s sources said there is a healing process that needs to take place before James can return.

Per ESPN’s report:

“A timeline for James’ return is further complicated by the fact that he has never had to navigate this severe of a groin injury and still needs to gain an understanding of how his body will respond to treatment. James has displayed a tremendous capacity throughout his career to avoid extended absences with injury, but sources expected the Lakers and James will be careful not to risk further aggravation of the groin by returning too quickly.​”

James on Wednesday tweeted his status and included the hashtag #BackInNoTime.

James did not travel with the team Wednesday night for its game Thursday against the Kings in Sacramento.

Despite ESPN’s report, it appears to be a best-case scenario for the Lakers after James was injured during Christmas’ marquee game against the Warriors.

James, 33, suffered the injury midway through the third quarter. He met with trainers on the court, appeared to tell them he “felt it pop” and then headed to the locker room without assistance. He had 17 points and 13 rebounds before exiting.

The team originally announced he was questionable to return to the game but was later ruled out.

The Lakers (20-14) were leading Golden State (23-12) by 14 at the time James left with the injury. They went on to win 127-101.

James entered the matchup against Golden State averaging 27.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. He was shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.