LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Lakers fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
An MRI Wednesday found that Lakers star forward LeBron James suffered a left groin strain and not a dreaded tear. He is listed as day-to-day, the team confirmed.
“Dodged a bullet!” James tweeted. “Sheesh. Thanks to the almighty above! #BackInNoTime.”
According to Lakers’ beat reporter Mike Trudell, James will miss Thursday’s road tilt against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers face the L.A. Clippers on Friday.
James left Los Angeles’ 127-101 Christmas day win against Golden State Christmas midway through the third quarter. He grabbed at his left groin after slipping under the Warriors basket at the 7:51 mark of the third trying for a loose ball. He said he has had the injury before but “not in a long time.”
“It’s pretty rare for me to have an injury, period,” he said Tuesday night. “It happens and we’ve got a great medical staff here, I’ve got a great trainer.”
He tried to stretch it out, awkwardly walked toward the Lakers bench trying to loosen up before leaving on his own though gingerly out the tunnel for the locker room.
“With me with injuries, I’m never too concerned about them,” James said. “I was able to walk off on my own power. I felt a pop, see if I could stretch it a few times, see if it would relieve but it didn’t. … I did a couple exercises to see if I could continue to go but I didn’t feel like it would benefit my team or me. So I came back and got a jump start on the rehab.”
James, playing his second straight Christmas game against the Warriors at Oracle Arena after losing last year’s matchup with Cleveland, had 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists before exiting.
Coach Luke Walton said he would prepare for the Lakers to be without James on Thursday night at Sacramento.
James has played in 156 straight games overall and 116 in the regular season.
“I take a lot of pride in it,” James said. “That’s why it (angered me) not to be able to go back into the game. It’s more than anything being available to my teammates, being available to my coaching staff. That’s something I take more personal than anything. Hopefully it’s not a long thing.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)