As Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James continues to progress towards a return from a high ankle sprain, the hope was that he would be able to play on Tuesday night against the New York Knicks.
James originally returned after a six-week absence and played in two games, although he dealt with significant soreness. That then forced him to miss the Lakers’ next four games as the organization wants to make sure he is 100% healthy, or as close to it as possible, for the postseason.
The Lakers only have four regular-season games left though, which doesn’t give them a lot of time to reintegrate their star in the lineup to gain chemistry with the rest of the team, specifically the new players.
Unfortunately though, Adrain Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that James is going to give his ankle one more day to rest with hopes of returning for the second game of the back-to-back on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets:
LeBron James is going to give that right ankle one more day of rest today vs. Knicks — and target a return on Wednesday vs. Rockets, sources tell @mcten and me.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2021
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise considering the likelihood of James playing both games of the back-to-back was always low. He now can give his ankle one extra day of rest before playing Wednesday and then will have two more rest days following the game against the Rockets.
If James is indeed able to return on Wednesday then it would be perfect timing considering that is when the Lakers are planning to raise their 2020 championship banner. Jeanie Buss has said they delayed it that long to hopefully get a healthy roster on the floor, and it now appears that will be the case with James’ expected return.
Davis pleased with what he’s seen from James in workouts
There’s no video of the Lakers’ practices and James’ workouts, but Anthony Davis gave a little insight into what he has seen from his co-star lately, and it’s hard not to get excited.
“What I’ve seen from LeBron today, he’ll be fine. Trust me. He’ll be fine,” Davis said after Sunday night’s win over the Phoenix Suns. “He’s been in this game long enough. Obviously, he hasn’t missed a ton of games, but he’s been in this league long enough to be able to come back and lock in and do what he got to do to help the team.
“But I don’t know what other teams are thinking. We know that we’re confident against anybody we match up against, especially when we’re fully healthy. That’s our mindset. … We’re going to come out and fight and I think teams know that just because we’re a lower seed we’re not going to back down from anybody. We’re going to come out and play Lakers basketball and I think teams know that and fear that as well.”
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