The Lakers aren’t taking any chances when it comes to LeBron James’ health.
After the four-time NBA MVP suffered an ankle injury in Sunday’s game between Los Angeles and Memphis, the Lakers decided to keep James on the bench for Tuesday’s contest against the Spurs. LA managed to escape San Antonio with an overtime win behind terrific performances from Anthony Davis (35 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, four blocks) and Russell Westbrook (33 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, three steals).
Now the Lakers are heading to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder in the second game of their first back-to-back set of the 2021-22 season.
What is the status of James ahead of Wednesday night’s Western Conference matchup? Here are the latest updates on the Lakers star.
Will LeBron James play vs. Thunder?
During his pregame media availability on Tuesday, Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel described James as “questionable” for the game in Oklahoma City, telling reporters that the team is going to wait and “see how he feels.”
“He’s just day to day, and he’ll get evaluated again tomorrow, see what the soreness is like and make a decision then,” Vogel said.
Vogel added that the Lakers are taking a “marathon” approach with James, who played in 45 of a possible 72 regular-season games in 2020-21.
Is this the same injury LeBron James suffered last season?
James suffered a high ankle sprain in March that forced him to sit out more than a month of action last season. He injured that same ankle when Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane drove to the basket and inadvertently fell into James’ leg.
“The first thing I was thinking to myself was not again. … It was almost similar, but not the same kind of play,” James said after the game. “Guy falls into my leg, and there’s nothing you can do about it, and I couldn’t get my leg out of there in time.”
While there were initially concerns about another high ankle sprain derailing James’ season, Vogel clarified that James was hit in a “different spot” and this is a “different injury.”
Lakers vs. Thunder injury report
(Official injury reports have not yet been submitted.)