Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James suffered a mild sprained ankle in the team’s loss on Opening Night but continued to play through it. James was determined to not miss the Lakers’ game on Christmas Day and has been in the lineup despite re-aggravating it.
He has been on the injury report for almost every game, being listed as questionable for the entirety of the Lakers’ ongoing road trip thus far. Despite the fact that he has referred to the 2020-21 season as a marathon and not a sprint, James has done his part to ensure the Lakers get wins to start the season.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said he is still dealing with soreness from the injury — meaning he’ll remain on the injury report — but should continue to play through it. “LeBron has some mild soreness in his ankle but he’s plenty healthy to play,” Vogel explained.
“We’ll continue to have him on the injury report as long as there’s some of that soreness.”
It can be presumed part of the reason James has continued to play could be because of how shorthanded the Lakers are at guard. Alex Caruso has missed the last three games due to health and safety protocols and won’t play Sunday.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suffered a sprained ankle in Friday night’s win over the San Antonio Spurs and his availability moving forward is unclear.
Perhaps once the two return, James will feel more comfortable taking a night off, as hinted during the offseason. However, the Lakers are heading into a two-game stint against the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies, who are without Ja Morant.
Perhaps the opponent will dictate whether or not James takes a game off.
Through the first six games of the season, the likes Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell have done a great job carrying the load for L.A. when the stars are off the court. Perhaps James could sit out without the team missing a beat, something that could not be said of last year’s team.
Caldwell-Pope hopeful to return soon from mild sprained ankle
After the Lakers win against the Spurs, where Caldwell-Pope was forced to exit early due to an injury, the veteran guard spoke about the treatment plan and if he thinks he’ll miss any time. “Ankle is fine. X-ray was negative, just a little sprain, and hopefully I can go in a couple days,” he said after the game.
“We’re going to treat it until we get to Memphis and see how it goes from there. … This is the first time for this ankle, that I can remember. It’s a mild sprain. A little ice, a little treatment, and a day or two off that I always say that I need, and I should be fine.”
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