For the first time in his career, it seems like LeBron James is just another human. After dominating the NBA for 18 seasons and defying Father Time for nearly two decades, his age is finally starting to take a toll on his body.
James can't seem to shake off that high-ankle injury that kept him out of 20 games before making a brief comeback. Now, he's expected to miss at least one more matchup.
The good thing is that, according to Lakers coach Frank Vogel, he'll be day-to-day after today's clash with the Los Angeles Clippers, meaning he could be back before the end of the regular season:
“He’s out for the Clippers game. He’s day-to-day after that,” Vogel told the media. “With him playing the two games back he needed those games to test it out, see where he’s at. After playing those two games we all decided, we talked to him and the medical team to just give it a little bit more time. So he’ll be out of the Clippers game. He’ll be day-to-day after that.”
Vogel knows how vital LeBron is to the team and how much they need him to be healthy in time for the playoffs:
“We want him back as soon as possible. But we want him back as healthy as possible. That’s the number one goal. Wherever we end up in the standings, we want him as healthy as possible going into the playoffs. Other than that, we’re just going to compete and win as many games as we can down the stretch here," the coach concluded.
The Lakers are likely to play it safe with their 36-year-old superstar, especially after he admitted that he's not going to be back to 100%.
The reigning champions could even fall to the play-in tournament if they don't finish the season strong, but it seems like they may be forced to defend their crown without their best player for the next week or so, at best.