NBA

LeBron reveals full extent of foot injury, may still require surgery

By Sports Desk March 26, 2023

LeBron James revealed the full extent of the injury that kept him out of the Los Angeles Lakers' previous 13 games before Sunday's return, but said he may still require surgery.

James returned off the bench with 19 points, making six-of-11 shots from the field with eight rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes as the Lakers lost 118-108 to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

The four-time NBA MVP revealed after the game that he had actually torn a tendon in his foot against the Dallas Mavericks on February 26, which typically keeps players out for longer than the four weeks' recovery time he needed.

The 38-year-old said he was told by two doctors that he required surgery but opted against it, albeit conceding he may still require an operation on the injury in the offseason.

When asked why James opted against surgery, he replied: "Because I went to the LeBron James of feet and he told me I shouldn't."

James added: "Right now I don’t need it [surgery]. We'll wait and see. I'll probably get another MRI at the end of the season and go from there.

"If I end up having to get surgery after the season... by the time next season starts I'll be fine, I'll be ready to go."

The Lakers provided few updates during his recovery, with his return coming with minimal advance warning.

James added that doctors told him he was "healing faster than anybody they've seen before with the injury", leading to his early comeback, although he said he would remain "day to day" in the short term depending on his recovery.

"I felt confident in the workouts that I had this week," James said. "The day after the workouts, when I woke up, stepped out down off the bed, I could possibly play today. After my workout early before the game today, I knew I could play."

On his performance, James added: "I felt okay. Obviously the rhythm is the most important.

"I had a couple of drives and the ball got away from me and a couple shots didn’t feel as good as before, but I was out for four weeks obviously so between that and the wind I've just got to get those things back leading into the final stretch of the season."

James' return for the Lakers came with seven regular season games left, with the side having gone 8-5 in his absence to boost their playoff hopes.

"Now we're sitting with a chance to be a top-eight seed that definitely changed my mindset coming back and trying to be part of this obviously," James said. "I won't say changed, but enhanced it, in terms of my workouts and treatment. They played such great basketball."

James is averaging 29.3 points on 50 per cent shooting with 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists from 48 games this season.

The Lakers dropped below .500 with the defeat, sitting ninth in the West with a 37-38 record.

Related items

  • Wizards hire interim head coach Keefe on full-time basis Wizards hire interim head coach Keefe on full-time basis

    The Washington Wizards gave interim head coach Brian Keefe the permanent job on Wednesday.

    “We are excited for Brian to become our next head coach. Brian is a proven motivator and connector of people,” Wizards general manager Will Dawkins said.

    “As a leader in the organisation, he will continue to positively grow and invest into the development of our players.

    “His wealth of experience will help move our team forward as we build for long-term sustained success.”

    Keefe was promoted to head coach on January 25 after Wes Unseld Jr. left the sidelines and moved into a front office advisory role.

    Washington was 7-36 at the time and went 8-31 under Keefe to finish with the second-worst record in the NBA at 15-67.

    The Wizards own the No. 2 overall selection in June’s NBA Draft.

  • Los Angeles Clippers extend head coach Lue Los Angeles Clippers extend head coach Lue

    Tyronn Lue is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers after agreeing to a new long-term contract, the team announced Wednesday. 

    Terms of the agreement are not yet known, though ESPN reports Lue's new deal will make him among the NBA's highest-paid coaches.

    Lue, who has compiled a 184-134 record in four seasons with the Clippers, was rumoured to be a candidate for the head coaching vacancy of Los Angeles' other franchise, the Lakers. That speculated scenario would have reunited the 47-year-old with LeBron James, whom Lue previously coached during a successful run with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    The Cavaliers' lone NBA championship came during the 2015-16 season, when Lue replaced David Blatt at mid-season and guided a team anchored by James and Kyrie Irving past the Golden State Warriors in seven games in a memorable NBA Finals.

    Lue also found immediate success after replacing Doc Rivers with the Clippers prior to the 2020-21 season, as the team reached the Western Conference finals before bowing out to the Phoenix Suns in six games.

    The Clippers have not won a play-off series in Lue's subsequent three seasons, though they finished fourth in the West with a 51-31 record in 2023-24. The Clippers were defeated in six games in the opening round by the Dallas Mavericks, who later advanced to the conference finals and currently own a 3-1 lead on the Minnesota Timberwolves in that series.

    Lue is 312-217 during the regular season and 54-37 in play-off games over eight overall seasons as a head coach. The former NBA point guard also helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018, when they lost to the Warriors both times.

    Cleveland fired Lue following an 0-6 start to the 2018-19 season, the team's first after James left the Cavaliers for a second time to sign with the Lakers.

    With Lue now under contract, the Clippers can now turn their attention towards attempting to keep their star core of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and James Harden together. Harden is a free agent this offseason and George could become one by declining his $48.8 million player option, which he's widely expected to do. 

  • Edwards credits Towns as bounce-back performance keeps Timberwolves alive Edwards credits Towns as bounce-back performance keeps Timberwolves alive

    Anthony Edwards credited Karl-Anthony Towns after he halted his slump to keep the Minnesota Timberwolves alive in their Western Conference finals series against the Dallas Mavericks.

    Towns scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half as Minnesota held off a late Dallas rally for a 105-100 road win, forcing a Game 5 in Minneapolis on Thursday.

    That came after a difficult start to the series for the four-time All-Star, with coach Chris Finch saying it was "hard to watch" his struggles in Game 3.

    Towns shot just 27.8 per cent in the series' first three games, but was 9 of 13 from the floor and made 4 of 5 from 3-point range on Tuesday.

    Edwards, who narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, said Towns was the primary reason the Timberwolves retained hope of an NBA Finals berth. 

    "Everything came together for him; he was super confident," Edwards said of Towns. 

    "He played exceptionally well, and he came through big-time. He was the reason we won tonight."

    Finch echoed Edwards' praise, saying: "KAT's a great player. His struggles were not going to last forever. He got himself going. 

    "Even when he got deep in foul trouble, we left him out there, just let him roll, and he played smart, played under control, rebounded really well for us, executed defensively. We're really proud of him. Tonight was a great step for him."

    While it was Towns' efforts that gave Minnesota a lead to defend, it was Edwards who made certain of the victory with a mid-range jumper after the Mavs pulled within three points just over a minute before the buzzer. 

    Towns, who fouled out with one minute and 38 seconds on the clock, said of his team-mate's game-sealing shot: "I was on the bench and had a front-row seat. I feel like he was visualising that make and he got to exactly the spot he wanted to.

    "I'm honoured to be playing with my brother here, seeing him every day put the work in, and I knew when he got to that shot it was a high likelihood he was going to make that."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.