Therapist says Lakers star LeBron James’ groin injury recovery should’ve taken six months
LeBron James detractors have never had more reason to cheer. The four-time MVP was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Friday night in poetic fashion, when the Brooklyn Nets and D’Angelo Russell – who wore forum blue and gold before being traded in 2017 in efforts to create the cap space necessary to sign James – defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 111-106, at Staples Center.
There are many reasons why the Lakers missed the playoffs this season that have little to do with James. The way Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka built their team’s roster in free agency never made sense, Luke Walton failed to implement a cohesive offensive system, and multiple key players missed significant stretches of the schedule. Most important among the latter group is James, of course, who was sidelined for 17 games – the longest stretch of his career – after straining his groin on Christmas.
By the time he returned to the court five weeks later, Los Angeles had gone 6-11 in his absence, falling from fourth to ninth in the Western Conference standings, a drop that proved too steep for the team to overcome.
According to a physical therapist who worked with James while he diligently rehabbed his injury, though, the 34-year-old should have been out of the lineup for even longer than he was. In an Instagram post on Saturday, Dr. Karen Joubert lavished praise on James while claiming the groin strain should have sidelined him for six months.
James wasn’t quite himself upon returning from injury, a reality most chalked up to him needing some time to re-acclimate after over a month away from the game. Apparently, the three-time champion deserves more credit than he received for coming back this season at all.