The King is back. But it seems like we are not ready yet to see LeBron in his whole shine, as he returned the other day after missing 20 games due to a high ankle injury he suffered six weeks ago in a game versus the Hawks. After Solomon Hill landed awkwardly on his ankle, many analysts debated whether it was a dirty or clean play, but now that topic is long forgotten, and we are ready to see LeBron back in action.
LeBron had his comeback versus the Kings on Friday night, playing 32 minutes and notching 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists while shooting 6-12 from the floor. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, as he would miss the potential game-winning three and suffer a loss in his first game back. After the game, LeBron shared how he felt and gave some discouraging statements about the state of his ankle:
"Getting back to 100 percent is impossible. I don't think I'll get back to 100 percent in my career. But I felt comfortable where I knew I could get on the floor and help my team win."
LeBron James, via Harrison Faigen
Even though he looked solid on the court, James admitted his ankle is still feeling tight at times, causing him not to play to the best of his abilities. LeBron has been known for his impeccable durability, allowing him to dominate the NBA for the past 18 years, but it seems father time is catching up to LeBron. After all, he is 36 years old and in his 18th NBA season.
But amidst all that knowing LeBron, he will be back to his former self pretty soon, as his Lakers will definitely need him. With that loss, the Lakers have fallen into the No.6 seed with a 36-27 record and are in danger of dropping into play-in contention with the Blazers only one game behind them. If they want to enter the playoffs safely and have a chance for another championship run, they will need LeBron at his best. The only question remains: Does he still have it in him? We will just have to wait and see.