LeBron James battled through injury during the Los Angeles Lakers‘ thrilling 111-108 victory on Sunday but it’s uncertain how the issue will affect him going forward.
James went down in a heap after appearing to injure his ankle or foot during the third quarter on a drive to the rim. James remained down for some time working with the trainers but the four-time MVP never went to the locker room, making it clear he wanted to finish the game.
When he was on the court, James could be seen clearly telling the trainers, “I heard a pop.” That could mean a lot of things, but considering he was able to play through it, the injury is likely not a worse-case situation scenario.
James was seen leaving the arena with a very clear limp, which doesn’t bode well for the immediate future. The Lakers next play Tuesday against the Grizzlies.
LeBron James Says Foot Has ‘Been Better’
James said after the contest that hit foot has “been better” with the latest incident just adding to the uncertainty around his health.
“I definitely wasn’t going to locker room and not finish the game,” James said. “The importance of this game and then the momentum that we had, I felt like we could steal one after being down.”
He’s been listed on the injury report for 40 games with left ankle or foot soreness this season, even missing some time with it. The injury against the Mavs appeared to be to his right foot.
Prior to the All-Star break, Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said that James had reached a “dire point” with his foot injury.
“I was told LeBron was severely struggling with that foot injury he has,” Haynes said on his podcast “#ThisLeague Uncut” with fellow NBA veteran reporter Marc Stein. “It gets to points where it just gets unbearable and he plays through it… The way it’s explained to me is that might be something that lingers all season long, but it reached the dire point.”
James missed some time prior to the All-Star break after getting some imaging on the foot. However, the Lakers said the scans came back “clean and good.” James has looked like Superman at times throughout his career battling through injuries but both of his foot/ankles not being at 100% is concerning for the 38-year-old superstar as LA eyes a playoff run.
D’Angelo Russell Also Dealing With Ankle Injury
D’Angelo Russell is another key piece of the Lakers lineup dealing with an ankle injury. Russell went down in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors on February 23. He was held out on Sunday against the Mavericks but doesn’t sound overly concerned.
“Wrong place, wrong time definitely,” Russell said after the game. “Pretty unlucky for me.”
The Lakers have now won three games in a row and are just 1.5 games out of a playoff spot. Prior to Sunday’s win, the Lakers had rolled to a pair of dominant victories by double digits.
Aside from Russell, the Lakers other pieces brought in via trade have been solid. Jared Vanderbilt posted 15 points and 17 rebounds against the Mavericks, while Malik Beasley notched 25 points in the win against the Warriors, going 7-of-11 from deep.
“The pieces we added for defense, for offense looks pretty good,” Anthony Davis said after beating the Warriors. “I think we’re playing well. We’re clicking. … Hopefully D-Lo’s injury isn’t severe where he misses time. I think we got a complete team where we’re able to make a little run.”