The Los Angeles Lakers ended their homestand on a sour note, losing to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon and snapping their three-game winning streak.
Early start games have typically given the Lakers trouble and that was no different as the Bulls seemingly saw every shot go down and every loose ball go their way. Although Los Angeles threatened to make a run on several occasions, Chicago was able to immediately respond and make sure the former never got over the hump.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Lakers, though, as they saw the surprising return of LeBron James, who was able to play 30 minutes off the bench. After the game, James discussed how is foot felt in his return to action after missing five months.
“I felt okay,” James said. “Obviously, the rhythm is the most important. I had a couple drives and the ball got away from me. A couple shots didn’t feel as good as before. I was out for four weeks, so between that and the wind, I just got to get those things back leading to the final stretch of the season.”
James revealed that he was dealing with a torn tendon in his foot, and there were a pair of doctors that suggested he get season-ending surgery. He wound up seeing a third doctor, who he referred to as the “LeBron James of feet,” and was told he ultimately did not need surgery and that he was healing faster than anybody they’ve seen before with the injury.
James also said that surgery is something he will consider in the offseason if it is needed though.
“I don’t know. Right now, I don’t need it, so we’ll see what happens,” LeBron said. “I’ll probably get another MRI at the end of the season and go from there. But if end up having to get surgery after the season, you guys won’t know. I don’t talk to you guys in the offseason and by the time next season starts I’ll be fine and ready to go.”
Regardless, James is doing what he can to manage the injury in the meantime and the true test will be how he feels on Monday morning.
“It’s day to day, obviously. The most important for me is Monday morning. When I wake up tomorrow and step out of bed. We’ll see what happens with that, but I feel confident in the workouts that I had this week and the day after the workouts when I woke up and stepped down off the bed that I could possibly play today and after my workout before the game I knew I could play today… We’ll see what happens.”
From listening to James talk, it feels like a miracle he was able to come back at all this season. The Lakers being able to win in his absence and actually climb up the standings surely played a part in his decision, and the team must feel fortunate to have their superstar back.
It took the King a little bit to settle into the game against the Bulls, but once he did he looked like himself for the most part. The first step and burst were there throughout the afternoon, though things like timing and his jump shooting will likely take a couple of games to come back to him.
With James officially back, the purple and gold are well-equipped to handle the last stretch of the season and hopefully continue climbing up the standings.
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