LeBron James made his return to the Lakers on Sunday in a 118-108 loss to the Bulls in Los Angeles and will have two full days to recover before they play the Bulls again in Chicago on Wednesday.
With the Lakers fighting for a play-in berth, now in ninth a half-game behind Minnesota and New Orleans, each of their last seven games will be critical. After missing a month due to his foot injury, James’ return is a welcome addition for their postseason push, but Sunday proved his presence alone won’t guarantee them wins down the stretch. As for how close the Lakers came to losing their star for the season, James explained after Sunday’s loss that multiple doctors advised him to have surgery to repair what he says was a torn tendon in his foot — he was listed out with a right foot tendon injury.
How did he avoid surgery? Apparently he found a doctor he calls “the LeBron James of feet” who advised him he could recover without surgery with the right rehab plan.
It’s an incredible soundbite from James, and also one that naturally led to an awful lot of replies to the video either wondering why he sought out the second-best foot doctor or why he didn’t find the Michael Jordan of feet. In any case, James has managed to battle through what was apparently a much more serious issue than even the Lakers had initially let on. The question, of course, is how much that will continue to linger and what impact that will have on James and the Lakers in their quest for the playoffs — particularly as they embark on a five-game road trip where he’ll have to recover after games away from home.