LeBron James will be out for the Los Angeles Lakers’ back to back games against the Clippers and Blazers on Thursday and Friday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. James returned from an ankle injury last Friday against the Kings but had to leave Sunday night’s loss to the Raptors early as it became sore again.
LeBron sat out Monday night’s win over the Nuggets, as well.
The Lakers have stopped short of saying James has re-aggrevated the injury. However, with the superstar missing games in the closing stretch of the regular season and the Lakers in danger of falling into the play-in tournament spots, his sitting out games should be cause for mild concern about how healthy he really is.
The two games will be LeBron’s 22nd and 23rd missed games as a result of the ankle injury suffered against the Hawks in March.
The Lakers will have just five regular season games remaining after the upcoming back to back to get LeBron integrated into the lineup, provided he is healthy. Four of those games come as part of a back-to-back set which could see James sit out at least one game from each set for rest and precautionary reasons.
Lakers guard Dennis Schröder is also expected to miss most if not all of the next seven games due to NBA health and safety protocols.
Friday’s game against the Blazers could be a crucial fixture as both teams, as well as the Dallas Mavericks, are fighting for seeding between the fifth and seventh seeds.