LeBron James isn’t quite ready to return to the court in anger.
The Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday issued an update on the superstar forward’s recovery from a groin injury, telling the public via a statement on the team website he’s increasing his physical workload but won’t be available to appear in games until at least late next week.
“The healing of James’ groin injury is progressing and James has been cleared to increase on-court functional basketball movements,” the Lakers said. “A further update will be provided on January 16.”
James strained his groin on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors. An MRI showed no significant damage, but the Lakers have approached his recovery with caution because this is the first such injury he has suffered in his career.
The latest update rules James out of the Lakers’ next three games: Friday’s visit to the Utah Jazz, Sunday’s home date with his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.
The Lakers will face stiff tests later next week, as they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets on Jan. 17 and 19, respectively. Los Angeles then will host the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 21.
The Lakers are 3-5 since James suffered his groin injury.
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