The Lakers hope the second time is the charm when it pertains to LeBron James recuperating from injury.
James is targeting Tuesday’s game against the Knicks for his return from an ankle injury, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. James feels “excellent” and has had two days of “exercises at a high level,” per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
The 36-year-old has missed 24 of Los Angeles’s last 26 games with a high right ankle sprain. After suffering the injury in late March, James remained in 20 successive video games, going back to the lineup on April 30 and May 2. He then experienced discomfort in his ankle, putting him back on the bench for another four contests. In 43 games this season, James is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists.
In addition to James’ absence, the Lakers have also been without Talen-Horton Tucker (calf), Kyle Kuzma (back), and Dennis Schroder (health and wellness procedures) for games this past week. The lineup inconsistency has added to Los Angeles’ current slide in the Western Conference standings. They would be a participant in the NBA play-in competition and earn a playoff spot if the Lakers don’t move up from the No. 7 seed.
With only four video games staying on the regular-season schedule, James has little time to work himself back into shape before the Lakers start their quest for back-to-back championships. Despite LA’s recent struggles, All-Star forward Anthony Davis does not sound concerned about the state of his team.
” We were an excellent team last year, and this is the very first time considering that I’ve been here that we ran into a challenge,” Davis said after the Lakers beat the Suns on Sunday. “This is a various difficulty for us. Because I’ve been here, we have never been less than [the No. 3 seed], maybe? This is brand-new for us. This is different for us.
” I think our entire group is taking on that difficulty and tackling it head-on. Go out there and do what we do, play Lakers basketball and let the rest take care of itself. It’s a challenge for us, and we can’t shy away from it for every challenge.