LeBron James is not healthy. Putting aside the controversial eye injury he sustained during the Los Angeles Lakers’ play-in victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, he is still dealing with lingering issues pertaining to his ankle.
In April, James suffered a high-ankle sprain that kept him out for six weeks. He ended up returning to action a couple of weeks ago in hopes of building some momentum for the playoffs, but results were mixed.
On one hand, since his return, he has played more than 27 minutes in each of the outings he has participated in. On the other – he was forced to sit for multiple games immediately after coming back.
The messaging around James’ ankle has been odd, to say the least.
So where does his health stand? This past week sports injury expert Dr. Brian Sutterer weighed in the topic of James’ ankle and how it will impact him going forward.
“The reason I was concerned that he had tweaked the original injury was that it was the same mechanism as his original high-ankle sprain,” Sutterer told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic.
“I think if this would have been the more classic low-ankle sprain, I probably wouldn’t have been that concerned because he’s shown us he can brush those off. But because it was the same mechanism as his original injury, that’s where I think there’s concern of how healthy that ligament is going to be.”
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
The Lakers have a grueling playoff run ahead of them, starting with a tough match-up against a surprisingly spry Phoenix Suns group. They need James as close to 100 percent as possible in order to compete – but clearly he isn’t anywhere remotely close to there.
Will the defending champs ultimately be able to overcome that and somehow find a way to repeat this year? Time will tell, but the odds aren’t looking good.