‘There’s Nothing About This Injury…’: Doctor Dismisses LeBron James Comments on Never Getting Back to 100%

Published 05/02/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Apr 17, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks on from the bench in the second half of the game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James made his long-awaited comeback from a severe ankle injury this weekend. After a month away, James played against the Sacramento Kings but wasn’t able to push the Lakers to victory. Regardless of the result, the Lakers will be glad to have LeBron James back in the team. With LeBron and Anthony Davis back, the Lakers will feel confident about their chances in the playoffs.

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Will LeBron James recover 100% from the injury?

However, LeBron James made some interesting comments after the loss to the Kings. He said that he would never get back to 100% after his injury. Dr. Brian Sutterer, a physical injury expert, reacted to James’ comments. He was confused by James’ comments, whether it was with regards to the injury healing, or him returning to the level of play he had prior to the high ankle sprain.

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“You have to remember that this is the first big injury that LeBron has had to go through in his career. It’s the first time he’s had to go through rehabbing going through an absence like this. Now I would hope that LeBron’s mindset is more so that he won’t return to the playing level that he was at before his injury rather than he doesn’t think the injury will ever heal.” 

Should LeBron worry about his ankle?

Sutterer added that there is no reason James’ injury won’t fully heal. While an ankle sprain is a severe injury, it isn’t on the same level as an Achilles or ACL tear, which significantly changes the constitution of a player’s body. Sutterer is of the opinion that despite it being a high ankle sprain, which is more severe than a low ankle sprain, James has little to worry about the injury fully healing itself in time.

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Mar 16, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) wears a face mask in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“There’s no logical reason for me to think that LeBron has this mindset that he’s never going to get back to a 100% in terms of healing this injury… This isn’t something like an Achilles rupture or an ACL tear or major surgery that drastically alters his body in some significant way… There’s nothing about this injury that made me think there is a decent chance it won’t 100% heal.”

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Will LeBron James be able to make a full recovery? James has shown that he is one of the most durable athletes in history. So his injury will recover in due time. However, do not expect him to continue putting up the same numbers he did prior to his injury, as the injury does affect his athleticism.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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