While James is not necessarily injured, he is sore in a way that clearly caused a diminished performance against the Clippers and it is something that likely will need to be monitored for a while.
Despite this, James was listed as questionable against the Portland Trail Blazers, but is looking more likely to play than not. While this may seem to be an overworking of James in a road game against an under .500 Trail Blazers team, James and Vogel have likely had the conversations necessary to determine the best course of action for him.
Vogel was asked about the idea of giving James a few days off to completely rest and recover.
“If it’s needed. We’ll see how he’s feeling, you know? If he wakes up and goes in the gym tomorrow and feels 100 percent and there’s no pain and he wants to play, then we’re going to play him.” Vogel said. “But certainly if he’s limited or at risk, then we’re going to be intelligent.”
While this may be concerning to some fans, it’s important to note this injury is different from last season’s groin injury that sidelined James for nearly 20 games even if it could worsen with overuse, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The injury that James is currently dealing with is on the right side of his groin and is far less dire than the injury he suffered to the left side of his groin last season, but it could worsen with overuse.
James is one of the most cautious athletes in the world when it comes to taking care of his body, and he’s likely more aware of how he’s feeling than anybody else. If James feels he is healthy enough to play, then he’ll play. If he feels any sort of hesitation about it, he’ll be held out.
While the causes for concern are certainly understandable given the events of last season, nobody knows James’ body better than himself and he and Vogel will be smart about tackling this current situation.