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LeBron James doubtful for Sunday vs. Denver with thoracic muscle strain

Los Angeles Lakers v Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 19: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers participates in warmups prior to a game prior to a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on December 19, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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This was unexpected.

LeBron James suffered a strained back in a loss to the Pacers, played through it Thursday against the Bucks, but now may be out Sunday night against the Nuggets, coach Frank Vogel said Saturday at practice.

A thoracic muscle strain is a strain of the middle or upper back. The treatment is primarily to rest.

How long it takes to heal depends on the severity of the strain, it could be days to weeks. With the LeBron carrying a heavy load for the Lakers on both ends, the silver lining is this gives his body a chance to recover while his back heals.

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