NBA regular season

LeBron James to miss at least next 2 games

LeBron James to miss at least next 2 games

IN TROUBLE. The Lakers have been struggling minus LeBron James.

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

After returning from an over one-month absence, LeBron James gets sidelined again after reinjuring his ankle

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expected to sit out the team’s next two games – on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers – to rest his injured ankle, ESPN reported Tuesday, May 4 (Wednesday, May 5, Manila time).

After missing 20 games because of the injury, James returned to play in the Lakers’ loss to Sacramento on Friday and their loss to Toronto on Sunday. He had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists against the Kings; and added 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists against the Raptors.

James – who, before returning last week had been sidelined since March 20 – said his ankle tightened up in both games. 

He didn’t play the last 6 minutes, 42 seconds of the Raptors game, and then sat out Los Angeles’ win over Denver on Monday.

“His ankle is battling some soreness,” Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel said after their game against the Raptors. “We decided not to bring him back.”

ESPN added that James could miss more games in order to be better prepared for the postseason.

“The most important thing for me is to be healthy and be at full strength when it really matters,” James said.

This season, the four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game.

The fifth-place Lakers, who have seven games left in the regular season, are 37-28, a half-game ahead of the sixth-place Dallas Mavericks and one game ahead of the seventh-place Trail Blazers. 

The top six teams in the Western Conference qualify for the playoffs without having to compete in the play-in tournament between the teams seeded 7th through 10th. –