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Report: If LeBron James has foot surgery, he would be out two months

Corey Robinson and Kurt Helin unpack all of the factors that might have played into LeBron James voicing uncertainty about his future and debate whether the star will actually retire.

When LeBron James suffered a foot injury just after the All-Star break, by his own admission, multiple doctors told him he should have surgery to repair what we now know was a torn tendon in his foot. He found a top doctor — “the LeBron James of doctors” — who told him he could recover with treatment and play out the season.

Now he has a decision to make on that surgery, something he knew was coming back in March.

LeBron will undergo further treatment but may need surgery that will sideline him for two months, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

That timeline would not have him missing the start of next season, but it would have LeBron missing months of off-season training to get his body ready for a 21st NBA season.

That’s assuming he comes back after hinting at retirement in his postgame comments after the Nuggets eliminated the Lakers from the playoffs. The sense from league sources is LeBron is not actually going to retire — not with a team on the cusp of being a contender, not with two years and $97 million left on his contract extension, and not with the dream of playing with his son Bronny (or in the league at the same time as him) on the table. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports a source close to LeBron expects him to return and play out his two-year contract extension.

However, if/when LeBron returns for his age-39 season, the Lakers must find a way to lighten the load on him. LeBron can give the Lakers the occasional 31-point dominant half (as he did in Game 4 against the Nuggets) but he can’t sustain his peak level of play like he is 25 anymore. Anthony Davis is Anthony Davis. Which is why LeBron’s retirement talk felt more like a leverage play, more like a message to Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka to get him some help.

Before that, LeBron has a decision to make about possible foot surgery.