Amidst the fight to keep their play-in spot during a nightmare season, the Lakers are facing another injury threat after their 116-108 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. Unfortunately, LeBron James twisted his ankle during the first half of the game against the Pelicans. He had to leave the court for a while before returning and scored an impressive 39 points with five assists in a losing cause. Hence, his availability to play on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks is questionable as of now. James also gave an update on his injury during the post-match conference. So, how bad is Lebron’s ankle injury? Keep reading ahead to find out!
LeBron James Sheds Light On His Recent Injury:
After the loss against the Pelicans on Sunday, LeBron James revealed that he had no idea how he finished the game with his ankle injury. James was at the field for 42 minutes and finished with 39 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. James’ ankle was strapped after the game and he was seen limping. LeBron told, “It’s horrible, I lost all the explosiveness. A lot of my game was from the perimeter after that.”
James turned his ankle during the second quarter with 10 mins and 9 seconds left on the clock. While the lakers were 36-29, he accidentally stepped on Pelicans’ center Jaxson Hayes and turned his ankle outward. He stayed on the floor before the LA Lakers called a timeout. However, the Lakers superstar decided against stepping out. He replaced his shoes and began playing on the court again. LeBron said that he was going for the offensive when he and Jaxson stepped at the same time. Jaxson got his foot on the floor before James did. Hence, she stepped on Jaxson’s foot and rolled his ankle.
James added that he experienced a sharp pain and hotness in his ankle soon after the injury. However, he did not want to leave the court knowing how important the game was. He wanted to win the game no matter what and understood how big a game it was for the lakers.
Unfortunately, LeBron could not save the Lakers from another loss even with a whopping 29 points in the game. The Lakers blew up a 23-point lead and simply gifted away the win to the Pelicans. The LA Lakers slipped to the tenth position in the Western Conference with a season record of 31-43. They are now a half-game behind the pelicans and just a game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs who are looking for a way to get up in the table and secure a play-in position. hence, the Lakers cannot afford to lose any more games.
Will James Return To The Court On Tuesday?
With six games left to secure a play-in position, the lakers cannot afford to lose another crucial player from the team. After Anthony Davis’ exit, James took the charge to lead his team to a play-off position. However, the lack of consistency and support had led the Lakers in a battle for the play-ins. The Lakers are still unsure of Davis’ return and with another player like LeBron out of the team, their season run might end right here.
However, the 37-year-old has taken it upon himself to take his team as far as he can. He has been playing with knee and ankle injuries and chose not to take any rest, LeBron James has played 54 games this season and scored 1618 points till now. He also has the highest average of 30 points per game in the 2021-2022 NBA season. Thus, the Lakers cannot afford to not play LeBron in the eight games that are left.
James shared that he had already begun treatment of the ankle before leaving the arena. He is planning to continue it round the clock so he can appear in Tuesday’s game against Dallas. James also revealed that the Lakers will from New Orleans to Sallas on Sunday night. And the pressure in the cabin would delay his recovery a little.
At the time of the interview, his ankle was pretty sore and he was hoping to get fit and get back on the court on Tuesday. James said, “Well, if I’m healthy, for sure. Obviously, I’m pretty banged up with that ankle” However, he felt that he can make things happen during his time on the floor. He also thinks that the Lakers still have a pretty good chance to make something out of this season. The Lakers fans would be praying that LeBron James recovers on time and play for the team in the remaining games of the season and hopefully make it to the play-ins.