Dr. David Chao: LeBron James Contradicts Himself About His Health

About a year ago, LeBron James said the following after he suffered an ankle injury:

“It’s impossible. I don’t think I will ever get back to 100 percent in my career.”

Now King James has changed his tune, proclaiming: “I am 100% healthy.”

What is the truth? Probably somewhere in between as he is still a superb athlete but he is approaching 38 years of age.

I cited last year how it was unusual to hear such a defeatist statement admitting to weakness from a dominant athlete. Now he seems to have recanted.

The reality is that no one can turn back father time. Thus, there is no way to be 100% of a 25 year-old LeBron. However, there was no reason to doubt that he couldn’t fully recover from a high ankle sprain, which was the injury he referred to in the first quote.

The truth is LeBron isn’t even fully healthy now with the documented Bakers cyst and potential meniscus pathology from this season. He seems to have responded well to offseason rest but this problem is not usually solved without arthroscopic knee surgery.

The bottom line is – it is typical for a dominant athlete to never admit weakness like LeBron did last year. Tom Brady is not the same guy physically, but he would never say that. Tiger Woods is obviously quite hampered by his leg/ankle injuries, yet he has not acknowledged that this is permanent.

We pointed out how unusual this was for James to declare his physical slippage last year and now he seems to have emphatically changed his mind, opting to send a different message.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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