LeBron James Returns to Lakers After Missing 13 Games Due to Foot Injury
LeBron James referred to a certain doctor as "the LeBron James of feet", preferring not to disclose the medical professional's name. After consulting with this doctor, the Los Angeles Lakers star was assured he could return this season from a torn tendon in his right foot without undergoing surgery. James had previously consulted with two different doctors who recommended surgery, but the 20-year veteran opted for a rigorous regime of rehabilitation and training instead.
James returned to the Los Angeles Lakers after four weeks, having missed 13 games, just in time to contribute to the team's playoff qualification run. With 14 games left of the regular season, the damage done by the loss against Chicago meant the team had fallen to 9th in the Western Conference, two games behind the 6th place Golden State Warriors. In his return match, James scored 19 points, making 6 of his 11 attempts, eight rebounds, and three assists; however, his five turnovers and 18 team total, contributed to 34 points for Chicago.
"The rhythm definitely is the most significant part," James affirmed. "On the drives, I wasn't at my peak, the shots didn't feel as familiar as prior due to being sidelined for four weeks as well as the gusts of wind. Still, I'm back for this last stretch of the season."
Anthony Davis, the Lakers big man who totaled 15 points and nine rebounds, believes that having James back will help the team up their game prior to the playoffs.
"You could definitely see him regaining his momentum, his finishes were precise; he will be alright," remarked Davis. "We will be alright too. It's a relief to have him back on the court."
James stated that the team's success even without his help motivated him to go through with his comeback. The Lakers had managed to win eight out of five matches, enabling them to gain ground in the standings.
"To hell with the play-in; we actually can be a top-eight seed," James declared. "That certainly had an impact on my decision to return and give my best. ... It didn't really change my thoughts; it just made me stronger in what I was doing as far as my exercises, recuperation and everything."
Darvin Ham, the Lakers mentor, said they would have to find periods at shootarounds and movie meetings to make a group around James with the games occurring nearly every day until the end of the season.
Then again, Ham said that if there is someone equipped to speed up that procedure, it's James.
"We'll have chances and chances to guarantee we're all on the same wavelength by reintroducing him back in the lineup," Ham remarked. "He's a skilled veteran, one of the greatest to ever do it, with more than 20 years of experience, so it won't take a lot."