Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expected to be sidelined between three to five more weeks after suffering a high right ankle sprain last week, according to an Athletic report.
“I really don’t have anything to add to where he’s at other than he’s out indefinitely,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said following shootaround in preparation for the team’s game on Thursday against Philadelphia. “We’re proceeding right now. My whole focus is the guys we have in uniform and the Philadelphia 76ers. We’re not really going to give updates as to where he’s at with the recovery.”
If that timeline bears out, James could return anywhere between April 16 to April 30. That would sideline James for an additional eight to 15 games. But the Lakers have nine regular-season games in May before the playoffs start on May 22.
Despite the Lakers’ refusal to offer a definitive timetable, Vogel has said the team has prepared to for James to have a long-term absence. James injured his right ankle in the second quarter of last Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks after Hawks guard Solomon Hill fell on James’ right ankle while trying to force a turnover. Although James stayed in the game, he then limped back to the locker room.
Since then, James attended the Lakers’ game in Phoenix on Sunday and sat on the team bench while wearing a walking boot. He then missed Tuesday’s game in New Orleans and returned to Los Angeles for more follow-up exams. And on Wednesday evening, James posted video of himself receiving treatment on his right ankle.
The Lakers (28-16), ranked No. 4 in the Western Conference, plan to reevaluate Anthony Davis sometime this week after missing the past 16 games because of a strained right calf. Marc Gasol will be available for Thursday’s game after missing the past nine games, including seven because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols and the past two to improve his conditioning.