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Lakers

LeBron James still rehabbing, hasn’t begun on-court work yet

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Lakers forward LeBron James (23) leans over in pain after injuring his groin against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 25.
(Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

LeBron James hasn’t begun on-court work yet as he recovers from a strained groin, Lakers coach Luke Walton said.

James was there Sunday as the Lakers had an unusual morning shootaround. So far, though, he has focused on getting treatment to allow his injury to heal.

“I don’t know what the daily routine in the training room is right now, but he’s not on the floor, no,” Walton said.

James suffered the injury during the third quarter of Tuesday’s 127-101 win over Golden State. An MRI exam on Wednesday confirmed James’ injury was relatively minor and the muscle hadn’t torn. Still, given the potential for a groin injury to linger if it isn’t allowed to heal fully, the Lakers have said they will be cautious with James’ return and have listed him as day to day.

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The Lakers entered Sunday’s game against Sacramento having lost two straight. While it’s unlikely James will be back for Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City at Staples Center, Walton declined to speculate on James’ availability.

“I really haven’t got that far,” Walton said.

Ball movement a must

The Lakers have missed not only James, but also backup point guard Rajon Rondo, whom they relied on to facilitate the offense when James went down against the Warriors.

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Rondo is expected to miss four to five weeks after another hand surgery. Asked if he has seen enough ball movement the last two games, Walton said, “Yeah,” before pausing and then continuing.

“It can always be better, especially from a coach’s standpoint watching clips,” Walton said before Sunday’s game. “There’re plenty of possessions when the ball should have moved more. But for adjusting that quickly with the injuries that we have now, I thought the last two games they’ve done a pretty good job of sharing the ball.”

Walton said he’s cool with his players attacking on the dribble, he just doesn’t want “the 10-, 15-dribbles possession.”

That led to a question about Brandon Ingram, who seems most effective having the ball in his hands. Ingram prefers to dribble a lot, probing the defense for long stretches.

“He’s one of the guys who is capable of doing that. That’s a strength of his,” Walton said. “But, yeah, when the initial attack doesn’t present itself, yeah, we want the ball moving on, whether it’s him or whether it’s anybody.”

Scoring spree for Svi

Rookie Svi Mykhailiuk scored 47 points in the South Bay Lakers’ win Saturday, the most scored by a G League player this season.

tania.ganguli@latimes.com

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Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli


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