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Lakers' LeBron James to Miss 'A Few More Games' Due to Irritation in Knee Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 1, 2022

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is set to miss at least another game and potentially more because of a nagging knee injury.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, James is expected to miss Wednesday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers and possibly "a few more games" because of irritation in his left knee.

Charania noted James and the Lakers "want to be cautious" and don't want him to return until the irritation subsides.

James is having another fantastic season, averaging 29.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three in 36 games. Not too shabby for being 37 years old.

The traditionally durable James has missed some time this season, however. Knee soreness has cost him the past three games, while he missed a little over two weeks in November with a rectus abdominis strain.

As James has aged, injuries have played a larger factor in his career. No surprises there, but it has meant prioritizing his workload management.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters in January:

"I think about it every day. We're always mindful of the load that he's carrying, in constant communication with him and the medical team. And in terms of what we do going forward with the knee and where he's at, it's really a heavy lean on the medical staff and [trainer] Mike Mancias and what they feel is best. It's really not a head-coach thing as much as it is relying on the medical team."

James has been less worried about that management, especially during periods when he's had to carry a larger burden as players like Anthony Davis deal with injuries.

"I don't get caught up in usage rates and heavy loads and things of that nature," he told reporters in January. "That's been me my whole career, since I was an 18-year-old kid taking over a franchise. So, that type of pressure or that type of load is something I'm accustomed to, I've been accustomed to for 20 years."

While James is out, Davis and Russell Westbrook will have to carry the Lakers offense, plus one of Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington and Talen Horton-Tucker should step into the starting lineup. But his absence is a major concern for the struggling Lakers (24-27) as they continue to battle for a postseason spot.

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