Lakers' Vogel on LeBron James' Injury: High Ankle Sprains Are 'Slow Recoveries'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, reacts as head coach Frank Vogel looks on during the second half in Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Miami Heat Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel expressed a level of caution regarding the high ankle sprain Lakers star LeBron James suffered.

Vogel told reporters how the injury can "take a while to heal" and that the Lakers are prepared to be without him "indefinitely."

Spectrum SportsNet @SpectrumSN

Frank Vogel with @LakersReporter on how the #Lakers can cope with the absence of AD, LeBron, and Marc Gasol vs. the 2nd place Suns. https://t.co/k5GqUlUxRq

James exited Saturday's 99-94 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks after Hawks forward Solomon Hill dove for a loose ball and fell into his right leg.

The four-time MVP addressed the situation on Twitter:

LeBron James @KingJames

Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates! I’m hurt inside and out right now. 🤦🏾‍♂️. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left. #ThekidfromAKRON🤴🏾

The playoffs tip off May 22, giving Los Angeles a few months before LeBron's continued absence would become a bigger problem than it already is.

The team has shown a willingness to take things slow with a star player battling an injury. 

Anthony Davis hasn't played since Feb. 14 due to a calf strain and Achilles tendinosis, and Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported March 15 the eight-time All-Star could be out for three more weeks.

"The Lakers will be overly cautious in their approach to working Davis back even at the cost of slipping in the standings, which has occurred," Haynes wrote.

Of course, it's much easier to take every precaution necessary with Davis when you know you can at least lean on James to steady the ship for the time being. Now that both players are unavailable, L.A. risks falling further down the Western Conference leaderboard.

Still, the Lakers don't want to be aggressive with James' recovery and make a bad situation even worse by having him aggravate the injury.