The Los Angeles Lakers announced that LeBron James will miss his fifth straight game on Tuesday night when the team takes on the Phoenix Suns. James has been dealing with a left adductor strain that he originally suffered in the Nov. 9 loss to the L.A. Clippers.
With the season still being in its early stages, it makes sense for the Lakers to be cautious with James, who is in his 20th season.
LeBron has dealt with groin injuries in the past and the last thing you want to do is re-injure them and make it a long-term issue.
“He’s staying in rhythm, but again, what you do in a 1-on-0 workout or 5-on-0 workout is a lot different than going in a game where you’re bumping bodies, changing speeds, changing direction,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said before Sunday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. “That’s not predictable and not as controlled as an individual workout. So again, there’s no need to be in a hurry with him. He’s gonna definitely play a big bulk of games this season.
“It’s November, so we have time on our side. We had that long break last week, seeing some opponents and getting healthy guys back in Thomas and Dennis allows us to really take our time with him. So we just want to be as cautious as possible so again, it doesn’t turn into something he’s constantly dealing with throughout the season.”
After playing the Suns on Tuesday, the Lakers then have three days off before taking on the San Antonio Spurs in a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday which will allow James some more time to rest.
The Lakers have actually been playing well in LeBron’s absence, winning their last three games. With that being the case, L.A. clearly isn’t feeling the need to rush James back so credit to the other players for stepping up to allow him that time to rest. Phoenix represents the Lakers’ biggest test in that span though so it will be interesting to see how they fare without James.
Paul out for Suns
James is not the only star that won’t be playing on Tuesday night as the Suns also ruled out Chris Paul. He has been dealing with a heel issue and will miss his seventh straight game.
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