NBA regular season

LeBron James out indefinitely after injuring ankle

LeBron James out indefinitely after injuring ankle

BACK SOON. LeBron James targets a quick return from injury.

Photo by Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

'I'm hurt inside and out right now,' says LeBron James after suffering a high right ankle sprain

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said he was hurting “inside and out” after suffering a right ankle injury on Saturday, March 20 (Sunday, March 21, Manila time) that will sideline him, but he vowed to return soon.

James grabbed his ankle and rolled on the floor in pain after colliding with Atlanta’s Solomon Hill while battling for a loose ball during the 2nd quarter of the Lakers’ 99-94 loss to the Hawks.

The 36-year-old MVP candidate was diagnosed with a high right ankle sprain and will be out indefinitely.

“Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates!” James wrote on Twitter.

“I’m hurt inside and out right now. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.”

The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player left the contest and postgame X-rays were negative. The team was waiting on MRI exam results, according to multiple reports.

The defending champion Lakers (28-14) are in 3rd place in the Western Conference with about two months to play in the regular season.

James joins a Lakers injured list that includes center Anthony Davis, who suffered an Achilles strain on February 16 and has yet to return. 

Hawks forward Solomon Hill rolled into James’ right ankle while chasing after a loose ball with 10:50 remaining in the 2nd quarter. James let out a scream in frustration as he grimaced while rolling around on the floor.

“I haven’t necessarily seen him scream and squall like that, probably ever, not even with that groin,” Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said, referencing an injury James sustained two seasons ago. “It had to hurt a little bit, for sure.”

James was attended to by the team’s training staff before returning to his feet. He stayed in the game and drained a three-pointer to give him 10 points, extending his NBA-record run of double-digit scoring to 1,036 consecutive games.

But James soon called a timeout, left the floor and headed for the locker room. He knocked down a chair on the way. Fellow co-captain Anthony Davis went back to the locker room to check on James.

Coach Frank Vogel was tight-lipped about the situation following the game.

“The mood of the team is we’re disappointed we lost, and we’ve got to come back and get one (Sunday),” Vogel said, looking toward a game against the host Phoenix Suns. “I won’t disclose what LeBron was like (in the locker room). It’s in-house.”

James has missed just one game this season, a 123-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings on March 3 in the final game prior to the All-Star break. He sat out due to a lingering, mild left ankle sprain.

James is averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists. –