Lakers Rumors: LeBron James Hoping Ankle Treatment Will Enable Him To Finish Season Stronger
LeBron James, Lakers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James will sit out the Los Angeles Lakers’ return from the All-Star break on Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors.

LeBron’s status for the contest had been in question after he received an ankle treatment and it was made official by the team on Wednesday.

Health has been the theme of this Lakers season and keeping James and Anthony Davis healthy and on the court has been top priority. And that is still the mindset and motivation behind this treatment for LeBron overall.

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, James is hopeful that while he may miss minor time at the moment, this treatment will ultimately allow him to finish the season stronger:

His status for Friday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs and Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns are to be determined. James has missed one game of back-to-back sets three previous times this season to manage the ankle. James only played a half Sunday, in part, to ease the workload on the ankle.

There isn’t a significant concern James will miss extended time, but the hope is the treatment will enable him to finish the season stronger, league sources told ESPN.

The Lakers will hit the ground running in this home stretch with three games in four days, two of which come against Western Conference playoff contenders. As Windhorst noted, LeBron’s status for Friday and Sunday are unclear, but this treatment was a decision made for his long-term health down the stretch of the season.

James is the leader of the Lakers and his ability to perform at a high level is obviously extremely crucial to the success of this team. The treatment won’t keep LeBron out for long and if a game or two has to be missed in order for him to be able to dominate in the final months and potentially the playoffs, then that is a sacrifice he is willing to make.

In the meantime, for one game at least, the Lakers will have to make due without LeBron, but this team has proven they can compete and win even if their leader is on the sideline.

Warriors’ star Draymond Green wouldn’t trade Jonathan Kuminga for Lakers’ LeBron James

Another underlying storyline in Thursday night’s Lakers-Warriors contest is the fact that prior to the trade deadline, the Warriors called the Lakers to gauge the availability of LeBron James. But Warriors star Draymond Green has his limits on who he would give up in such a deal.

During the All-Star Game, Green spoke on that potential trade, noting that he told Warriors owner Joe Lacob that if Jonathan Kuminga was involved in the deal not to do it. With Kuminga coming into his own and becoming a core member of the Warriors, Green would not want to give him up, even for someone like LeBron.

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