By Rafael Bandayrel
The Los Angeles Lakers will have to survive at least three more games without the services of superstar LeBron James who was sidelined with a groin strain.
With his injury being worse than originally suspected, James will miss the Lakers’ battles against the Utah Jazz on Friday, the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, and the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.
James has been out of action since exiting the Lakers’ Christmas day game against defending champions Golden State Warriors. Despite “The King’s” absence, LA’s young guns held the fort and went on to upset the Warriors, 127-101, on the road.
NBA.com reported that the four-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) has been cleared to increase his on-court activity as he recovers from the injury, the Lakers medical staff announced after an evaluation.
If the timetable plays out as expected, James will have missed 11 straight games which would be the longest he’s been out in his 15-year-career. The 34-year-old has never been out for more than 13 games during his illustrious stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. This season also marks the first time James has sat out two full weeks.
The Lakers have gone 3-5 in LeBron’s absence, including consecutive road victories against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks.