LeBron James Shut Down for Lakers' Final 6 Games to Let Groin Injury Heal

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIIMarch 30, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James talks to his teammate during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 124-106. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without All-Star forward LeBron James for the remainder of the 2018-19 season. 

Lakers president Magic Johnson issued a statement announcing James wouldn't play the final six games, via Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet. 

"After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season," Johnson said. "This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers."

James had previously missed 17 games with a groin injury throughout the end of December and January. The 34-year-old has also missed a few games because of load management. 

On March 23, physical therapist Karen Joubert shed light on the severity of James' groin injury by posting and then deleting (h/t Complex Sports) an Instagram photo. The caption read in part:

"I want you all to know how bad his injury was and is, the pain he endured. Along with his amazing trainer, Mike Mancias, he was on the court in 6 weeks, it should have been 6 months. Unselfishly, he endured pain, pain, pain. He did not want to let the Lakers down, the fans down."

With the Lakers already eliminated from postseason contention, there was no obvious reason to keep James on the court and risk doing additional damage to his groin.

In his first season as a Laker, James has averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists across 55 games. The 34-42 Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention by losing to the Brooklyn Nets on March 22.