With just seven games to go in the regular season, time is running short for LeBron James and the ailing Los Angeles Lakers to pull things together before the playoffs. After a new update on the 36-year-old’s health, it looks like that window might be getting even narrower.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, James will miss a pair of Lakers games later this week against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday and against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. The scratches will mark the four-time MVP’s 23rd and 24th missed starts of the season.
“Lakers star LeBron James is expected to miss back-to back games on Thursday (Clippers) and Friday (Blazers) to rest his right ankle, sources tell ESPN. James will proceed cautiously with ankle injury as playoffs approach,” Wojnarowski tweeted on Tuesday.
Although the Lakers are wise to save their best player for the fast-approaching postseason, Los Angeles finds itself dangerously close to falling into the play-in tournament. Anything can happen in a single game, so it would suit James to be back on the court for the final few regular seasons contests.
Lakers star LeBron James is expected to miss back-to back games on Thursday (Clippers) and Friday (Blazers) to rest his right ankle, sources tell ESPN. James will proceed cautiously with ankle injury as playoffs approach.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 4, 2021
The Lakers did get an important confidence boost without James on the court on Monday night, with a 93-89 win over the Denver Nuggets. Anthony Davis took over, in what turned into a defensive battle, scoring 25 points and tallying three blocks, including a late game swat on point guard Facundo Campazzo.
With the win, the Lakers improved to 37-28 and claimed a half game lead on the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. However, Los Angeles plays the Clippers, the Blazers, the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks consecutively during the next week, making for a difficult stretch.
The Lakers will be without James for at least the first two of those four match-ups. After that, there’s no telling when he’ll return to the line-up, but defending champs will hope for it to be as soon as possible.
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