LeBron James feels ‘horrible’ after ankle injury in Pelicans loss

LeBron James’ ankle harm in Sunday’s crushing 116-108 loss to the Pelicans couldn’t come at a worse time.

With simply eight video games left within the common season, the 31-43 Lakers are sitting within the tenth spot within the Western Convention with one of many hardest remaining schedules within the league and a one-game lead over the Spurs to easily qualify for the play-in match. The loss dropped the Lakers behind the Pelicans within the standings and gave New Orleans the doubtless essential tie-breaker.

James mentioned his left ankle felt “horrible” after he turned it within the first half of Sunday’s loss to New Orleans.  

“I imply, I do not know how I completed the sport, to be trustworthy, after watching that replay. It’s fairly nasty,” James mentioned after ending with 39 factors, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

James’ left ankle was wrapped after the sport, and he was strolling with a limp. The Lakers’ main scorer is questionable for Tuesday’s sport in Dallas.

LeBron James drives to the basket towards the Pelicans on March 27, 2022.

“S–t I hope not, as a result of I hate lacking video games. That’s not in my nature,” James mentioned, including that he had already began remedy on the ankle earlier than leaving the sector Sunday. He’ll obtain “across the clock” remedy.

“It’s horrible proper now. And sadly, we’re about to hop on a flight, too. See what occurs day-to-day. However it’s fairly sore proper now.”

James got here down on his left ankle awkwardly when he stepped on Pelicans heart Jaxson Hayes’ sneaker with 10:09 remaining within the second quarter whereas the Lakers had been up 36-29. He remained within the sport, however mentioned he “misplaced all explosiveness” after the harm.

“I used to be stepping into for an offensive rebound and me and Jaxson principally stepped on the similar time,” James mentioned. “He obtained his foot on the bottom earlier than I may get my foot again on the hardwood. I stepped on his foot and rolled my ankle.”

James mentioned he would have “in all probability not” completed the sport, if the Lakers weren’t in such an important stretch with a play-in spherical spot on the road.

“I imply, from the time I turned my ankle I felt a pointy ache run up my leg. It began getting sizzling. And I’ve been there earlier than with ankle sprains earlier than,” he mentioned. “However I didn’t need to come out of the sport as a result of I understood [the importance]. I imply, I simply needed to win the sport. I understood how large of a sport it was for us.”

Lakers coach Frank Vogel referred to as it a “powerful” state of affairs.

“It’s simply been that type of season. He was simply in an unbelievable groove proper round then, and credit score him for toughing it out. However you’ll be able to see he was restricted on it considerably the remainder of the best way. However he battled by means of it.”

The Lakers will want a wholesome James to compete for a spot within the play-in match, which begins April 12 and concludes April 15.

Though he’s “fairly banged with” with the ankle harm, James mentioned, “I nonetheless really feel like if I’m on the ground and I could make issues occur then we nonetheless obtained a fairly good likelihood to make one thing out of this season.”

LeBron James during the end of the Lakers' loss to the Pelicans.
LeBron James in the course of the finish of the Lakers’ loss to the Pelicans.
USA TODAY Sports activities

James’ harm provides to the Lakers’ season-long struggles. He returned to the lineup earlier this month after being sidelines with a nagging knee harm all through February.

The Lakers have additionally been with out its star heart in Antony Davis, who’s been sidelined since Feb. 16 with a foot harm. 

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