According to a source familiar with the situation, LeBron James of Los Angeles Lakers could miss several weeks due to a right foot injury.
The extent of the injury is still unknown and further tests are pending. The person spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity, as neither James nor The Lakers have announced any long-term absence.
The Lakers had already ruled James — the NBA’s all-time leading scorer — out for Tuesday’s game at Memphis with what they called right foot soreness.
James played 37 minutes in Sunday’s 111-108 win by Dallas for the Lakers. Los Angeles rallied from a 27-point deficit with this victory. He left the arena with a noticeable limp. with video from The Dallas Morning News It was obvious how bothersome his foot was to him.
After spending some time on the ground in pain, he grabbed at his ankle and got hurt in the third period. He stayed on to finish the game because he understood how important the game was for the Lakers’ playoff hopes.
“It’s been better,” James said. “But I definitely wasn’t going to locker room and not finish the game. The importance of this game and then the momentum that we had, I felt like we could steal one after being down.”
James leads the Lakers in scoring at 29.5 points per game, and said at the All-Star break earlier this month that the team’s closing stretch this season would be some of the most important games he has played — noting he didn’t want to miss the postseason for a second consecutive year.
The Lakers (29-32) began Monday 12th in Western Conference. This is a game from the 10th spot and the last spot in the play in tournament. It’s only 2 1/2 games behind Dallas, in the race to be sixth. Guaranteed playoff berths are available to the top six teams from each conference.
If James — a 19-time All-Star, playing in his 20th NBA season — misses extended time, the Lakers’ task of getting in figures to become significantly tougher.