On Tuesday, the Lakers will play the Suns in Phoenix without LeBron James for the sixth straight game. Even though it has been over two weeks since James sustained an adductor injury against the Clippers, he is still on the sidelines.
The Lakers already had a severe wing depth problem before Juan Toscano-Anderson (mid back pain) was ruled out for the third game in a row.
LAKERS – Juan Toscano-Anderson
Last week, when the Lakers had a long break in their schedule, LeBron was allowed to return to the floor for practice, albeit he only participated in the non-contact parts of those sessions. While it was encouraging to hear that he was making progress in his rehabilitation, it wasn’t as significant as some of his ardent supporters would have hoped.
Fortunately for the Lakers, the injury occurred during a relatively easy stretch of their schedule, which includes matchups against Brooklyn, Detroit, and San Antonio. The Suns will be a much harder opponent on Tuesday, but a pair of games this weekend versus the Spurs is another positive stretch.
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Even yet, LeBron and the Lakers have reason to be concerned about this due to his history of muscular issues and prolonged absences. Since the start of the 2020-21 season, LeBron has missed at least five games on six separate occasions due to injuries.
LOS ANGELES LAKER – LEBRON JAMES
The Lakers will play two games in Los Angeles on Monday and Wednesday before leaving on a six-game road trip against Eastern Conference opponents after Tuesday’s game and the Friday-Saturday back-to-back. It’s still anyone’s guess as to when LeBron will return to action, since there have been little hints either way.