(Reuters) - LeBron James will be sidelined for at least another week after suffering a groin injury during the Los Angeles Lakers’ Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors,, the National Basketball Association team said on Thursday.
The update came after James, a four-times NBA Most Valuable Player who joined the Lakers in the offseason, was evaluated by team medical staff and physicians earlier on Thursday.
“The healing of James’ groin injury is progressing and James has been cleared to increase on-court functional basketball movements,” the Lakers said in a statement. “A further update will be provided on January 16.”
Given that timeline, James will miss Friday’s game against Utah, Sunday’s clash versus his former Cleveland team and Tuesday’s meeting with Chicago, at a minimum.
The news is a blow to the Lakers, who have gone 3-5 in James’ absence and are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
James has led the Lakers in scoring this season, averaging 27.3 points in 34 games along with a team-high average of 8.3 rebounds per game.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris