At the time of the initial diagnosis, The Athletic reported that James would miss at least a week with the injury, as the team wanted to be cautious early in the season. Tim DiFrancesco, the Lakers’ former head strength and conditioning coach, told The Athletic that while the severity of James’ injury remains unknown, most minor strains could take two to six weeks to heal.
“Especially the way he plays, it’s tough for me to see him getting back under four weeks,” DiFrancesco said. “These are such delicate injuries that can respond to rest with pain relief quickly, but they are highly susceptible to re-injury if returned too quickly.”
Should James return against Boston, the four-time MVP will have missed eight games over the span of a little over two weeks. Los Angeles has gone 3-5 during that stretch.
Thus far this season, his 19th in the NBA, James is averaging 24.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and seven assists per game. Also dealing with ankle soreness early in the campaign, he’s logged and started in just six contests for the 8-8 Lakers.