The Los Angeles Lakers’ first win of the season couldn’t come without some drama on Sunday night. Obviously there was the game itself which went down to the wire, but also the concern over superstar LeBron James and another potential leg/ankle injury scare that occurred during the contest.
In the third quarter, Grizzlies wing Desmond Bane fell onto James’ leg in a play that was eerily similar to the one that happened to James last season with the Atlanta Hawks’ Solomon Hill. That injury, of course, kept James out for more than a month and the Lakers can ill-afford a similar occurrence early on this year.
Thankfully, LeBron was able to stay in and finish the game after the injury. But in the moment, there surely numerous fans dreading the possibilities. For his part, James also briefly had the same thoughts as countless others, before he was able to return just fine.
“The first thing I was thinking to myself was ‘not again’ obviously because it was almost kind of similar, but not the same kind of play,” LeBron said after the Lakers’ victory. “A guy falling into my leg and there’s nothing you can do about it and I couldn’t get my leg out of there in time. So I just wanted to try to take a moment on the floor, just hopefully it wasn’t getting worse.
“I had an opportunity to just tie my shoe again and see if I could continue to go and I was able to continue to go, but it’s a little sore right now and obviously I think it’s gonna be a little sore tomorrow when I wake up. But I’m an around-the-clock guy when it comes to treatment so hopefully I’ll be ready to go on Tuesday.”
With any ankle injury, it can’t truly be judged until the following day. As James said, it will be sore on Monday for sure, but as long as it doesn’t swell up too much and the pain isn’t unbearable, he should be fine on Tuesday when the Lakers hit the road for the first time to take on the San Antonio Spurs.
With LeBron being the ultimate orchestrator and the Lakers already down a number of players due to injury, the idea of being without James is something no one hopes will happen. But everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that it is nowhere near the severity of last season’s injury.
LeBron James took two months in offseason to let ankle heal
When James did return to the Lakers after his injury last season, it was apparent that he wasn’t 100% on the court. LeBron was clearly still hampered by his ankle but was determined to play through it. It was so bad, in fact, that it took two months in the offseason for James to feel normal once again.
“It took a while,” James said at a recent practice. “I didn’t do much basketball stuff for probably like the first two months of the summer, which is very rare for me because my ankle wasn’t responding how I would like for it to respond.
“The best thing about the summertime is I had time. I had time to really to just give it an opportunity to get ready when my ankle is ready to go and I was always training. I wasn’t on the basketball court, but I was always doing other stuff training.
“Pushing anything I can do with my ankle until I got to a point where I didn’t feel any sharp pains anymore or my flexibility was back to where it was before.”
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