The Los Angeles Lakers have been snakebitten by injuries during the 2020-21 season, but are finally getting healthy as the playoffs approach.
Anthony Davis looks completely over the calf strain/Achilles injury that kept him out over two months, turning in several performances reminiscent of his old self. However, LeBron James is still on the mend after experiencing soreness in his right ankle.
James missed Tuesday night’s game against the New York Knicks but is reportedly nearing a return. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel revealed that his status is normally decided by the star and the medical staff.
“Honestly, I don’t really get into details of it,” Vogel admitted. “He meets with the medical team when he wakes up this morning. Potentially gets evaluated in person, I’m not even sure. I just know that I got to wait to hear from them on whether he’s going to be in or out. I heard midmorning that he would be out, but he basically reports how he’s feeling after the work yesterday and make a decision with the medical team.”
The Lakers have been extremely cautionary when it comes to injuries this season and Vogel also acknowledged that they are taking a long-view approach when it comes James.
“You always want to measure the response to workload and make a decision whether it’s smart to be in the next night as we did, but came out okay, yes,” Vogel said.”
James is reportedly targeting a return against the Houston Rockets in the second game of the back-to-back on Wednesday, but it will ultimately come down to how his ankle responds to his workout and treatment.
At this point, it is unlikely that Los Angeles climbs out of the play-in tournament, so the superstar should only return once he is 100% ready.
Vogel non-committal on James playing against Rockets
Although James is reportedly going to try and give it a go against Houston, Vogel noted that he and the staff will continue to play it smart and see how he feels on Wednesday before making an official decision.
“We’ll continue to look at it day-to-day,” Vogel said. “Again, he did more rehab work today and we’ll evaluate that response to the work tomorrow and we’ll make a decision on tomorrow, tomorrow.”
Despite Vogel’s comments, it is more likely James plays given that the team will finally raise its 2020 NBA Championship banner.
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