NBA-Lakers' James blames heavy schedule for rash of injuries

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·1 min read
NBA: Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers
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(Reuters) - Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has blamed the rash of injuries to top players on the NBA's condensed schedule.

The season kicked off on Dec. 22, 71 days after the Lakers won last season's Finals at Walt Disney World, marking the shortest offseason in league history.

James' comments come after LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard was on Wednesday ruled out indefinitely after suffering an ACL injury to his right knee.

Leonard will be the eighth All Star to miss a playoff game this year after injuries to Lakers' Anthony Davis, Brooklyn Nets duo James Harden and Kyrie Irving, Utah Jazz pair Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, Boston Celtic's Jaylen Brown and Joel Embiid of Philadelphia 76ers.

"They all didn't wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen," James tweeted.

He said he had tried to raise awareness about the potential risks of starting back so quickly and that the lack of rest was a factor in the injuries.

Reuters has requested comment from the NBA.

James played all six games of the Lakers' first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns but missed 26 of their final 30 regular-season games due to an ankle injury.

"This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane," he added.

"I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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