LeBron James will be held out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ final six games of the season to aid in the recovery of his strained groin, the team announced Saturday.
“After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season,” Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers.”
James finishes the season averaging 27.4 points (tied for fifth in the league), 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists (third) in 55 games. The Lakers failed to qualify for the playoffs for a franchise record sixth-straight season, snapping James’ personal streaks of 13 straight playoff appearances and eight straight NBA Finals berths. James suffered a slight tear in his left groin on Christmas Day, causing him to miss 17 straight games. At the time of the injury — the most significant one of James’ 16-year career — L.A. was 20-14, good enough for the fourth best record in the Western Conference.
The Lakers are currently 34-42 — 11th in the West.
The Lakers finished 28-27 in games James played in during his inaugural campaign in Los Angeles, the first of a four-year, $153.3 million deal signed in the offseason.
James, 34, told ESPN earlier this month that he had no plans to shut down for the remainder of the season, even though the Lakers’ hopes of a playoff spot were dim at the time.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Dave McMenamin