Lakers' LeBron James 'Ready to Go' vs. Suns Despite Ankle Injury

Adam WellsMay 21, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors during the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament on May 19, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

LeBron James doesn't sound like he is going to hold anything back in Sunday's Game 1 of a first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.

The Los Angeles Lakers star told reporters Friday his right ankle is "good" and that he's "ready to go."

James is dealing with the lingering effects from a sprained ankle he suffered March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks.

Dr. Brian Sutterer, a sports injury expert, told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic that he's concerned about James' durability because he tweaked the ankle Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

"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 said before the Lakers' victory over the Golden State Warriors in Wednesday's play-in game. "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."

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters Wednesday that the four-time NBA MVP "is not at full strength, but he's getting there."

James played 35 minutes against the Warriors, his most since March 18. He finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and hit the game-winning three-pointer with 58.2 seconds remaining in the Lakers' 103-100 win.

Los Angeles earned the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference as a result of the victory.