"Red Flag" For Lakers As LeBron James Faces Uncertain Knee Injury

 “As long as the swelling is there, he is going to be out." Ominous words from Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, speaking about LeBron James' knee problems.

LeBron was sent home to LA before the Lakers' game in Atlanta this weekend for treatment.

On NBA Radio Monday morning, NBA insider Mitch Lawrence spoke of the enormity of the problem for the Lakers.

This is the big story in the league right now... What is the state of LeBron James' knee?... What's the root of the problem?... All of a sudden he's got swelling in the knee? That is a red flag for Laker Nation.

James has missed three straight games now, after playing at an MVP-level over the past month. But he had an increased workload over that span, and took a bit of extra pounding playing center, when Anthony Davis was out of the lineup. That has apparently taken its toll on James' 37-year-old body. He's playing more minutes-per-game than he has in four years.

An MRI revealed "general swelling", and while the Lakers are hoping he'll be able to return sometime soon, it's beginning to feel like this could be a lingering issue.

Lakers' beat writer Jovan Buha of The Athletic echoed Lawrence's concerns, saying "The Lakers should be increasingly concerned about this James injury. It's already his third injury of the 2021-22 season.

"After being an ironman for the first 15 years of his career in Cleveland and Miami, James' injuries are beginning to mount up in Los Angeles as he hits his late 30s."

The Lakers are 0-3 in this latest string of games that LeBron has been out. 

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports