The Los Angeles Lakers were starting to get on a roll, winning three straight games. But their superstar player is expected to miss indefinite time following their latest win against the Dallas Mavericks.
LeBron James said he “heard a pop” in his right foot when he went down during the third quarter of the come-from-behind win over the Mavericks on Sunday. However, James would remain in the game through the end, finishing with 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
But according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Lakers are expecting James to miss “an extended period of time” with his foot injury.
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The Lakers don’t have a timeline for James’ return, leaving his time away from the team “indefinite” at the moment.
James was noticeably limping as he walked out of the arena on Sunday after helping Los Angeles complete its 27-point comeback victory.
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Lakers head coach Darvin Ham initially said James was “good” post-game but would be undergoing further testing. Those tests must have shown them something that’s keeping him on the bench for the time being.
“Our medical people are looking at him right now, and we’ll get a reevaluation in the morning,” Ham said per the OC Register.
James also revealed that his foot is wrapped up on his Instagram Story. His caption was simply: “Fkn sucks!!!!”
At age 38, James has kept the Lakers afloat this season with his 29.5 points averaged per game as well as 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists. He also broke the all-time scoring record in the NBA, which continues to climb with each game he’s on the floor.
The Lakers have also been doing well since they acquired D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to try to push toward the playoffs. Rui Hachimura’s addition from the Washington Wizards has also been a solid pickup.
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However, with Russell and Anthony Davis day-to-day as well, the Lakers are hurting at the wrong time. They are currently the 12th seed in the Western Conference with 21 games left to play.
The Lakers need to be at the very least the 10th seed in the conference (play-in tournament) to have any shot at reaching the first round toward the NBA Finals.
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Their first game without James will be Tuesday night on the road against the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.