The Los Angeles Lakers recorded their first win since LeBron James' injury when they beat the Charlotte Hornets 126-123 in overtime on Monday night. And it looks like they could be without their leader for more than the initially expected one week absence.

James sustained an abdominal strain during the Lakers' win over the Houston Rockets and has missed the last three games. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the four-time league MVP will be out for at least a week, with the Lakers medical staff preferring to take a cautious approach in order to avoid a recurrence later in the season.

The Lakers have had a mixed start to the campaign and came into the game against the Hornets with a 5-5 record. Frank Vogel's team have struggled to hold on to leads this campaign - throwing away a 26-point and a 19-point lead in their two losses at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While Carmelo Anthony has stepped up from the bench to help starters Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook with valuable contributions, they are still missing the cutting edge James brings to the team. The Athletic's Bill Oram has now cited Lakers' former head strength and conditioning coach, Dr. Tim DiFrancesco, who suggested a much longer injury absence.

"DiFrancesco explained in a post Saturday morning that the injury is one that can occur with the overextension of the torso combined with extreme force — such as a powerful serve in tennis or a tomahawk dunk in basketball," Oram wrote. "Recovery time? Four to eight weeks for even a minor strain, according to DiFrancesco."

The Lakers will be hoping that the diagnosis of their former strength and conditioning coach is untrue and James will return in the coming days. A month on the sidelines will see the future Hall of Famer return only in mid-December, missing a number of key games for the Purple and Gold.

The Lakers are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference with a 6-5 record. They are 3.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors, and have key games coming up against the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks in the coming week.

Russell Westbrook
LeBron James Russell Westbrook Lakers Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images