It’s no secret that this season has been a disappointing one for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers as they are in danger of missing the Play-In Game altogether after falling into 11th place in the West after Tuesday night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
James has been one of the lone bright spots on the court for the Lakers, but like many others, even his playing time has been limited due to injuries. He suffered a sprained ankle in Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, forcing him to miss the game against the Mavericks.
That marked the 20th game James has missed this season, and the team has greatly struggled without him, as well as Anthony Davis.
If the Lakers want to have any hope of making the playoffs they will need to get one or both of their stars back. It appears that won’t be happening right away though as Chris Haynes of Yahoo reported that James is expected to miss the team’s next game on Thursday against the Utah Jazz:
“Sources say he is still expected to miss Thursday’s game in Salt Lake City.”
This hardly comes as a surprise considering how much pain James was in after the Pelicans game. He played through the injury, but after the contest, he admitted it felt ‘horrible’ and he was expecting it to swell up even more over night, which Frank Vogel confirmed did indeed happen after Monday’s practice.
With only seven games remaining, it’s fair to question if we have seen the last of James this season. There’s no doubt he wants to get back on the floor in order to try to help his team make a run, but it’s not worth it if he’s not 100% and would be risking further injury by playing.
James hasn’t officially been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Jazz as Vogel said that they will see how both he and Davis are feeling ahead of the game before making an official decision.
“We’ll make that decision on Thursday. We’ll see where those guys are at on Thursday and make that call then,” Vogel said.
Vogel disappointed Lakers have been ‘snakebitten’ by injuries
When speaking about James, Davis and all of the other players the Lakers have been without due to injury, Vogel expressed disappointment with how this season has played out.
“It’s been that type of year,” Vogel said. “Definitely snakebitten with trying to get those guys on the floor together. I think it’s 17 or 18 games or something like that for the season and looks like it could potentially be more than that now.
“So it’s one of those things that’s out of our control, it’s unfortunate, but we have to lock in and again, like we’ve done all season, shift our identity on the floor with regards to who’s in and who’s out.”
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