As James felt a ‘pop,’ an initial exam revealed the muscle stayed intact and it was described as a left groin strain. When James and the Lakers returned to Los Angeles, an MRI confirmed the initial results and the 33-year-old is listed as day-to-day.
While it is unclear how many games James will exactly miss, the Lakers have since lost their last two games to the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers.
Although an MRI revealed LeBron James sidestepped serious injury, the All-NBA forward did suffer a significant left groin strain and the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing for him to miss several games, league sources told ESPN.
Without James, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball have all seen increased roles. While the Lakers had double-digit leads in the second half against the Kings and Clippers, they have struggled to close out games with missed free throws and turnovers.
With one day off before the Lakers play the Sacramento Kings, the hope is they will be able to practice and get more comfortable playing without James and Rajon Rondo, who is expected to miss a month following a second hand surgery.
At 20-16 and seventh in the Western Conference, the Lakers have exceeded expectations during the 2018-19 NBA season. However, there is pressure to win games without their two leaders or risk extending their playoff drought to six seasons.