LeBron James is coming up on three weeks since sustaining a groin injury Christmas night and his agent tells The Athletic that he won’t rush to return to the Lakers lineup.
The 34-year-old superstar is progressing and due to be re-evaluated Wednesday, but NBA insider Shams Charania paraphrased agent Rich Paul: “When he’s ready to go, he’ll go. … If it takes longer, it takes longer.”
Latest on LeBron James and a groin strain that had a minimum three-week recovery. Tuesday marks three weeks, with a re-evaluation on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/SbfyPrpFV9
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 14, 2019
The report noted that groin injuries, like hamstring issues, are hard to gauge in terms of how long a player might be sidelined.
James has been cleared to “increase on-court functional basketball movements,” the team announced Thursday.
He hasn’t played since suffering the injury in the third quarter of the Lakers’ win over the Warriors on Dec. 25. He met with trainers on the court, appeared to tell them he “felt it pop” and then headed to the locker room without assistance.
James underwent an MRI the following day and said on Twitter he “dodged a bullet.” But, he has missed the Lakers’ last eight games. Los Angles has tallied a 3-5 record in his absence.
Los Angeles signed James to a four-year, $153.3 million contract in July. He is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34.6 minutes per game this season.
The Lakers, who have gone 3-7 in James’ absence, are 23-21 and have dropped into a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference. They play their 11th game without their superstar on Tuesday when they host the Bulls (10-33) at 10:30 p.m. ET.