Lakers News: LeBron James Urges Russell Westbrook To Not Rush Back From Hamstring Injury
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Russell Westbrook played in 78 games for the Los Angeles Lakers, being one of the only players to not deal with any serious injury. But already this season, Westbrook is dealing with a hamstring issue that popped up in the preseason and kept him out of Wednesday night’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Any kind of strained or pulled muscle is always difficult to deal with as the most important thing is resting it and each one is different, making it tough to figure out a timeframe for it to be completely healed.

But LeBron James understands that Westbrook’s hamstring must be completely good before he returns to the court, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Obviously we miss, not only Russ, we miss Dennis and his ability to get into the lane and his ability to make plays,” James said following the Lakers’ 110-99 loss to the Nuggets. “But Russ definitely dealing with a hamstring. I played with D-Wade in Miami and, you gotta just, be cool on that. You can’t force it, until that thing is ready to go. You gotta be very conscious of that […] You gotta deal with that very, very precise until it’s ready to go.”

Westbrook’s intensity and ability to attack the rim is something that could have come in handy against a Nuggets team that doesn’t have much rim protection defensively. But as LeBron said, you just can’t force a soft tissue injury like a hamstring. Pushing too much too soon could make the injury even worse.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham insists that the Lakers are simply being overly cautious with the injury and it doesn’t seem to be anything serious. With it being early in the season, Ham and the Lakers staff felt it was best to not push it too much and simply sit Westbrook out, which is right in line with LeBron’s thinking as well.

For the time being this is a minor issue, and the Lakers want to make sure it stays that way.

Westbrook hopeful for return vs. Timberwolves, likely to come off the bench

The Lakers’ next contest is Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Westbrook is hopeful he will be able to return for that game.

If he does indeed come back, it could be in a different role however as there are reports that Westbrook will be leading the second unit and coming off the bench once he is back with the team.

The Lakers point guard did point towards his bench role in the preseason as possibly being a factor in his hamstring issue, but he has said he will do whatever is needed for this team and it looks like Ham may have made the decision.

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