The Los Angeles Lakers announced last Thursday that LeBron James would miss at least one week due to an abdominal strain.
Given that no prior notice had been offered regarding James suffering any such injury, the news caught a lot of folks off guard.
In the days since, the Lakers have gone on to blow a double-digit lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday and then get completely dismantled by the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
Clearly the team needs James. But when will he really return?
According to former Lakers head strength and conditioning coach Tim DeFrancisco it could be a while. In an extensive Instagram post, he detailed why:
View this post on Instagram
In a follow-up conversation with Bill Oram of The Athletic, DeFrancisco doubled down on his assessment.
“Especially the way he plays, it’s tough for me to see him getting back under four weeks,” DiFrancesco said. “Then again, he’s a different dude, so I wouldn’t put anything past him. … These are such delicate injuries that can respond to rest with pain relief quickly, but they are highly susceptible to re-injury if returned too quickly.”
LA has been a mess without James so far. It has gotten to the point where even opposing players are mocking them.
That’s one way to do Halloween. https://t.co/YmqiqaNaYN
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2021
The Lakers need James back – but it looks like that won’t be an option for quite a while.