SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — LeBron James was held out of the Lakers’ game against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night with a groin injury, ending his consecutive games played streak at 156.
James was injured during the Lakers’ 127-101 victory over two-time defending NBA champion Golden State on Christmas when he slipped while going for a loose ball.
An MRI showed that James suffered a left groin strain rather than a tear, but no timetable has been set for his return. Lakers coach Luke Walton said the team will take a cautious approach with the four-time MVP.
“It’s one of those things we want to make sure he’s healthy before we get him back out there,” Walton said Thursday. “That could be an injury where if you come back too early you re-injure it and then you’re out longer. We’ll be careful and cautious when he starts playing again.”
James, who remained in Los Angeles while his teammates flew to Sacramento, has played in every game since the final game of the 2016-17 regular season, when he sat out to rest. His last extended absence due to injury was an eight-game stint to deal with back and knee aches midway through the 2014-15 season.
James is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists this season, his 16th in the NBA and first with the Lakers.