LeBron James to miss Warriors game Saturday due to ‘load management’

Lakers superstar LeBron James

The Lakers star, who played his first game since Dec. 25 on Thursday, will sit out the Warriors game Saturday.

LeBron James will not play Saturday against the Warriors, according to Yahoo Sports.

A source told the site the reason is “load management.”

James played his first game Thursday since suffering a groin strain Dec. 25 against the Warriors. While he scored 24 points with 14 rebounds and nine assists in an overtime win against the Clippers, he said afterward he was not close to 100 percent after missing 17 games.

“The first quarter was just kind of a feel-out quarter to see how my groin would react,” James said. “I didn’t really run as hard as I’m accustomed to on breaks. I had a couple of drives, just trying to mentally get into it….

“I’m not there all the way, as far as physically. My timing … is 80 percent right now, but it felt good to be 80 and be back on the floor and put on a Lakers’ uniform again.”

The Lakers next play Tuesday at Indiana, their third of six straight road games. None of the remaining games after that, against Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta, are back-to-back contests, which would be good if the Lakers are trying to ease James back in over the next week or so.

But Los Angeles (27-25) clearly needs its superstar on the floor. While James sat out, the team went 6-11 and is now ninth in the Western Conference.