LeBron James has never missed more than seven games in a season.
He’s on track to miss nine straight now.
After sitting out the Cavaliers’ last two games, losses to the Hawks and Bucks, LeBron is projected two miss the next seven.
LeBron James was evaluated yesterday at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Richard D. Parker, MD, Cavaliers Head Team Physician. Tests included physical exam, radiographs and a MRI, the results of which revealed left knee and low back strains. These conditions will be treated via a multimodal approach consisting of anti-inflammatories, rehabilitation, training room treatments, and rest. LeBron is currently projected to be Out for the next 2 weeks.
LeBron, now 30, has looked older this season. He’s not playing as explosively, and his defensive effort is way down. But this is the biggest sign yet of his aging. The only other time LeBron missed anywhere near significant time was the 2007-08 season, when he sat five games with a sprained left index finger.
Kevin Love is already hurt, and as I wrote when he went down, the Cavaliers need their three stars to build chemistry if they have any chance of a deep playoff run. This obviously slows that progress.
More immediately, a Kyrie Irving-led team has a tough task ahead. Cleveland’s schedule the next two weeks:
- at Hornets
- vs. Mavericks
- at 76ers
- vs. Rockets
- at Warriors
- at Kings
- at Suns
Those four games against Western Conference teams in playoff position will be mighty tough. With Irving as the clear alpha dog the last three years, the Cavaliers haven’t shown they can compete, though perhaps that changes in his fourth season.
That said, Cleveland needs a healthy LeBron more than wins the next couple weeks. If resting him this long is what it takes, it’ll be well worth it.
But the Cavaliers should also be a little concerned their biggest star is suddenly looking pretty old.