Lakers star LeBron James out for at least 3 more games

The Lakers announced Friday morning that LeBron James will miss at least three (and probably four) more games with a strained groin.

James, 34, is reportedly progressing since suffering through the injury on Christmas against the Warriors, receiving daily treatment from team training and medical staff. But the Lakers said he’ll be re-evaluated in a week and will not travel on the team’s upcoming road trip through Minneapolis and Dallas.

He also will miss the upcoming home game against the New York Knicks, and the next game at home against the Detroit Pistons falls within the weeklong timeline before James is re-evaluated. The earliest date James could return would be a Jan. 11 road game against the Utah Jazz.

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The Lakers are 1-3 since James was injured – it hasn’t helped that Rajon Rondo has also been out, and will be missing for the next three to four weeks. Kyle Kuzma is questionable for the game as well after missing most of Wednesday’s loss to Oklahoma City with a back injury.

Luke Walton said the team has to adopt a strong mentality to soldier through the injury plague.

“Listen, it’s not about, ‘Hey, let’s just try for one game,’” he said. “Like, we don’t have LeBron. We don’t have Rondo. We might not have Kuz. We’re playing basketball and we can’t sit here and make excuses for ourselves. We need to figure out a way to compete, play hard and give ourselves chances to win ballgames.”

The Lakers did embrace the unfamiliar feeling of actually having someone come back to shootaround Friday morning: Michael Beasley returned after a 13-game absence, during which he dealt with the death of his mother Fatima Smith.

Walton said it was “a nice energy boost” to see Beasley back in the building. He could return to action immediately against the Knicks, for whom he played last season.

“He told me he’s been running,” Walton said. “But I told him we could find that out real quick if I decide to play him or not. But he had great energy in here today.”

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