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Sportress of Blogitude

Luke Walton: LeBron James ‘eager’ for return, not ‘depressed’

It remains unclear exactly when LeBron James, currently sidelined with a groin injury, will make his return to the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup.

While Luke Walton declined to provide a definitive timetable for James, the Lakers head coach did indicate the superstar remains in good spirits despite the prolonged injury setback.

 “I wouldn’t say ‘depressed,’ just that he’s eager to get back,” Walton said of James, who has now missed the past nine games, per The Athletic’s Joe Vardon.

James was believed to be “day-to-day” in the immediate aftermath of suffering the groin injury during a victory over the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 25. The expectation then changed to James needing minimum of three weeks to recover, which arrived Tuesday.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania noted this week that James will now be reevaluated on Wednesday.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported last week that James is “prepared to be out multiple weeks” to ensure a return to 100 percent health.

Coming off Sunday’s brutal loss to James’ former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers have gone 3-7 in the 10 games James has missed.

Meanwhile, James said Sunday that he’s handling the lengthy injury situation, unfamiliar terrain for the superstar, “as well as I can.”

Perhaps most troublesome, however, is how ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported during an appearance on “The Hoop Collective” podcast that James’ condition is not improving.

“LeBron is not getting that much better I know they say they’re going to re-evaluate him this week,” Windhorst said, via Silver Screen and Roll. “I have been told it will be … as of last week they were thinking it was going to be at least two weeks. He’s going to miss more games.”

In other words, about the only thing that can be said about James’ return is that it will not be coming anytime soon, a troubling notion for a reeling Lakers squad. At least according to Walton, James is somehow remaining positive amid all the frustration.