LeBron had not spoken publicly about the foot since exacerbating it exactly four weeks ago, excluding a tweet refuting speculation about his recovery timetable (he was overheard telling an arena worker that he’d be back before the playoffs).
In that tweet, LeBron insisted we only listen to him when it comes to specifics about his status (Darvin Ham has been carefully vague about LeBron’s rehab process). Therefore, here are his notable soundbites on the injury from his postgame remarks.
On the precise nature of the injury
“I tore a tendon in my foot.”
On whether it’s typically longer than a four-week malady
“It is. … The doctors told me I was healing faster than anybody they’ve seen before with the injury.”
On managing it going forward (the Lakers have eight games left in the regular season)
“Day-to-day. The most important for me is Monday morning — when I wake up tomorrow, step out of the bed and see what happens. But I felt confident in the workouts I had this week and the day after the workouts when I woke up … that I could possibly play today.”
LeBron with a nice burst to the rim pic.twitter.com/Y62RunnDMm
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) March 26, 2023
On what his three-a-day rehab sessions were like
“My days would start around 7 a.m. and end around dinner time, around 7 o’clock at night. From rehab to training to treatment, do it all over again, and do it all over again.”
On whether he was advised to have season-ending surgery
“Yeah. Two doctors.”
On why he didn’t have the surgery
“Because I went to the LeBron James of feet and he told me I shouldn’t.”
On what country that doctor is based — a question asked in reference to Dennis Schroder’s comments hinting that James may have visited Germany for medical consultation:
“I don’t know. I have no idea.”
Reporter: “Why did you decide against [surgery]?”
LeBron: “Because I went to the LeBron James of feet and he told me I shouldn’t.”
Reporter: “What country is the LeBron James of feet based in?”
LeBron: “I don’t know. I have no idea.” pic.twitter.com/yAEVAkRiJ8
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 26, 2023
On whether he’ll have surgery down the road
“I don’t know. Right now, I don’t need it. So we’ll see what happens. I’ll probably get another MRI at the end of the season and we’ll go from there. But if end up having to get surgery after the season you guys won’t know. I don’t talk to you guys in the offseason and by the time next season starts. I’ll be fine.”
On the floor against a feisty Bulls defense, James played 30 minutes off the bench, led the Lakers with 19 points, and flashed moments of crisp movement.
LeBron to the rack for the and-one pic.twitter.com/4KZyWt3phq
— LakeShow (@LakeShowCP) March 26, 2023
Overall, though, his game and his chemistry with his teammates were clearly rusty, especially in halfcourt sets (understandable, considering LeBron decided to play minutes before tip-off).
“It feels OK,” James said about his body. “Obviously, the rhythm is the most important. I had a couple of drives and the ball got away from me. A couple of shots didn’t feel as good as before, obviously. But I was out for four weeks, so between that and the wind, just trying to get those things back leading to the final stretch of the season.”
“He trusts his doctors, and he trusts himself, and he was able to come back today,” said Anthony Davis, who had 15 points. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the win, but he’s feeling good. It will be good to have him for the next seven where we’ll be able to finish this thing out.
“He’s a big part of our team, and him coming back with eight games left, it gives us the time to work out the kinks that we will have when there’s not so much time. It gives him time to get in a rhythm and suit up for this game, then two games left or three games left.”
Notwithstanding Sunday’s loss, LeBron acknowledged that the Lakers’ improved performance since the deadline motivated him to ramp up his rehab.
“To hell with the play-in — we actually can be a top-six seed. That definitely changed my mindset on me coming back and trying to be a part of this, obviously, so — well, I don’t really want to say changed my mindset, it just enhanced what I was trying to do as far as my workouts, as far as my treatment and everything.”
The Lakers went 8-5 without LeBron since Feb. 26 and reached .500 for the first time this season after their win on Friday.
“They played such great basketball and I was just ecstatic, from me being in a boot, to me getting out of a boot, to you guys saw me on the sidelines just feeling such — happy about what the guys are doing, so definitely want to be a part of it.”
Los Angeles will begin a five-game road trip against the Bulls on Wednesday. It sounds like how LeBron feels when he wakes up tomorrow will be a critical determinant of his availability during the trip.
The post LeBron James reveals full details on foot injury, possible surgery, and Lakers playoff hopes appeared first on ClutchPoints.