This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron goes down while Brady will go on forever
LeBron James sustained a groin injury for Christmas.
The parents of an MLB prospect received a surprise that was years in the making.
Up next, the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans will battle for an NFL playoff spot to start 2019.
Here is what is happening this week in U.S. Sports:
1. Lakers squad down a star
James is expected to miss several games for the Los Angeles Lakers after suffering a groin injury in the marquee Christmas Day game against reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors.
An MRI exam showed no serious damage, but the injury is significant enough that the Lakers are preparing for James to be sidelined in order to allow the healing process to run its course.
On Wednesday, James tweeted that he "dodged a bullet" and included the hashtag #BackInNoTime, though the Lakers are calling his absence "day to day" until he is re-evaluated. He did not travel with the team for their Thursday matchup against the Sacramento Kings.
2. NFL playoff race enters final stretch
The NFC playoff picture is nearly set, while a mess of possibilities remain in the AFC.
All 32 teams hit the field on Sunday, with nine sides already are locked in for the postseason. A number of playoff scenarios will be in play from early and late afternoon games to the final match of the regular season that night in which the Colts will take on the Titans.
The game is significant, since the winner will go to the playoffs as either a wild-card team or the AFC South champion. For the latter to happen, the Houston Texans have to lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier Sunday.
3. New England's ageless wonder vows to play on
Despite his inconsistencies this season, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady helped his team clinch a 10th straight AFC East title and a second seed in the AFC playoffs entering the final week of the regular season.
This week, he reiterated that he wants to continue his career in New England not only next season, but beyond 2019.
"I absolutely believe I will. I know I've talked about it for a long time: I have goals to not only play next year, but beyond that," Brady told Westwood One Sports radio. "I'm going to try to do it as best I possibly can. I'm going to give it everything I have, like I always have.
"It will certainly be a challenge. I don't take any of these things for granted, but I hope I can keep playing, and I hope I can keep playing at a championship level."
Brady will be 42 at the start of next season, which will make him the oldest quarterback in the league and one of the oldest QBs in the history of the NFL.
4. Royals prospect gives back in a big way for Christmas
Kansas City Royals prospect Brady Singer used his newfound professional status to spread some holiday cheer.
The right-hander surprised his family with the ultimate gift on Christmas Day by revealing in a heartfelt letter to his parents, Brett and Jacquelyn, that he had paid off all their debt.
Singer posted a video of the emotional surprise on Twitter and it quickly went viral.
Today is very special to my heart. To give back to the two people who have given up everything to support my brother and I. I can’t thank them enough. Love you Mom and Dad pic.twitter.com/AFHi2Xma0c— Brady Singer (@Bsinger51) December 25, 2018
"Dear Mom and Dad, I just want to say 'Thank you' for everything you've done to help me reach my dreams," Singer wrote in the letter. "There's absolutely no way I could have done all this by myself. Both of you constantly took off of work and spent every dime you made just to put a smile on my face. My smile and appreciation for both of you has never stopped and it never will."
The 22-year-old was selected by the Royals with the 18th overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft. He received a $4.25m contract, a franchise record for a pitcher.
5. USMNT standout set for loan away from PSG
United States phenom Timothy Weah confirmed via Instagram on Tuesday that he is embarking on a six-month loan from French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
While he did not specify exactly where he was headed, reports indicate he is likely bound for a Scottish team.
Weah, the son of AC Milan great George, described the loan as a "decision my family and I made … this winter," but closed his post by saying, "I hope that after these six months, I will be ready to return to the Parc du Princes and give everything to make you proud to be Parisian."
The 18-year-old made his debut for the USA in March and scored his first goal in May. He has appeared in three games for PSG, the most recent in August.