The Golden State Warriors have gotten very used to seeing LeBron James over the last few years, and NBA fans have grown accustomed to watching one of the best teams of all time face off against one of the best players of all time.
Unfortunately, it appears that won’t happen this week. The Warriors are set to visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday for a nationally televised showdown. But James, who has missed 11 games with a groin injury, is unlikely to play. The Lakers ruled James out of the team’s next two games (Thursday and Saturday), but cleared him to resume practice next week.
LeBron James has been cleared to return to Lakers practice next week and progress toward playing after that.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 16, 2019
While that doesn’t technically rule him out for Monday, there’s virtually no chance that the Lakers would let James play a game the day he returns to practice after a month-long absence.
James hasn’t played since suffering an injury the last time the Lakers faced the Warriors, on Christmas. In the 34 games that the four-time MVP has appeared in, Los Angeles is 20-14 with a net rating of +2.3; since his injury, the Lakers are 4-7, with a net rating of -2.6.