Lakers Make Final Call on LeBron James’ Status Against Thunder

Getty Images Lakers star LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without superstar LeBron James as they take on the winless Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, giving the 36-year-old more time to rest his sore ankle.

The Lakers are playing their first back-to-back of the season and there was a sentiment that James would sit out the first half of it against the Spurs and play against the Thunder. However, James will need more time to get right after having his leg run into against Memphis.

James finished that game against the Grizzlies, despite being rolled into by Desmond Bane on a rebound. He admitted, however, that his ankle was not feeling great after the game.

The real worry is that it’s the same ankle that hampered him last season, forcing James to miss 26 games.

“The first thing I was thinking to myself was, ‘Not again,'” said James, referencing when Hawks forward Solomon Hill slid into his legs last year on a loose ball. “Obviously it was almost similar but not the same kind of play. 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.”

Lakers Taking ‘Marathon’ Approach With LeBron James’ Injury

LeBron James

GettyLeBron James.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel made sure to note that while it’s the same ankle, it’s a different injury.

“Same ankle. Different spot. Different injury,” Vogel said.

The Lakers haven’t given a timeline for James’ return, although he seemed to be in good spirits on the bench against the Spurs on Tuesday.

“He just got evaluated by the medical team (and) there was some soreness,” Vogel said on Tuesday. “We’re taking the marathon approach of holding him out.”

James is in Year 19 of his career and some planned rest was in the plans. With a talented, veteran roster, there is less pressure on James to rush back into the lineup, especially so early in the season. That being said, James made it clear prior to the season he prefers to play his minutes and not have his playing time dictated by fear of injury.

“I don’t play the game thinking about injuries,” James said prior to the Lakers’ opener. “And I also feel worse when I play low minutes.”

Anthony Davis Questionable After Injury Scare

The Lakers have listed Anthony Davis as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder after the big man had a scary moment in Tuesday’s win over the Spurs.

“He was doing his job flying in, and I was still kind of planted on the ground,” Davis told reporters after the game. “He ran into my knee. Like a little stinger, a little stinger. And then started moving, it just kind of went away. I kept playing. Still felt it a little bit, but finished the game. And we’ll see how it is when I wake up tomorrow.”

A series of lower-body injuries limited Davis last year but he’s looked spry through the first four games. He’s averaging 28 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
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