LeBron James engaged in full contact defensive drills this week. Actually, he's been slow to recover from his groin injury at Christmas. In the meantime, Lakers are on a losing streak and struggling to stay in contention. LeBron won't rush back to play, as they need him to be 100 percent fit, Yahoo Sports notes. Mind you, with Lakers dropping to ninth-seeded in the Western Conference, the team probably hopes for his return in the near future.

LeBron's injury & other injured players could cost the playoffs

Lakers had high hopes this season as they got LeBron from Cleveland Cavaliers, but they have had so many injury issues. Rajon Rondo, Lebron, and Lonzo Ball all ended up off. In fact, social media commenter @JuAnCaS_30 said on Twitter about LeBron, "This injury is gonna cost us the playoffs." And, they may not be far off the truth. While Lakers young players tried very hard during his absence and had no choice but to improve their performances, without LeBron, they are nothing special this season.

LeBron's injury is worrisome, given his incredible level of fitness. Fans of LeBron seem to think if he does not bounce back quickly, then it must be really bad. As Lebron and Isaiah Thomas both played for Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers, there could be some comparisons between the two. After his hip injury, Thomas, who previously managed an average of 28.9 points per game for Boston Celtics, never really made it back into the game in any notable manner.

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It seems unthinkable that a similar fate could await LeBron, but it does go to show how injuries are scary career killers. In the tweet below, at least one follower thinks LeBron should only return when he's totally ready.

Full contact drills a good sign LeBron's on the mend

Lakers were never going to rush LeBron back onto the court and they gave him the time he needed to get better.

In fact, while he apparently would be playing if it were the playoffs, at this stage of the dismal season, why rush anything? Cleared for contact drills in practice is a good sign that he's mending and that he hopefully recovers fully.

In the meantime, Lonzo Ball, struggling and frustrated with his ankle injury told the press during a Lakers Nation interview that he was playing good basketball. It's frustrating that his injury came at an important time for Lakers. He said the whole incident that caused his ankle injury happened so fast he really didn't have time to figure out what happened.

Lakers face off against Phoenix Suns

Lakers play against Phoenix Suns on Sunday, and so far, their injuries list LeBron as out, Kyle Kuzma as "questionable for the game and Josh Hart is also banged up," according to Silverscreenand roll.com. If Kyle Kuzma can't play then perhaps the Lakers should try and give Michael Beasley more time off the bench as he can shoot quite well.

Remember to follow the NBA channel on Blasting Pop for more news about the Lakers and LeBron James.

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