Lakers News: Latest on LeBron James Injury; Anthony Davis Hypes Dennis Schroder

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IApril 27, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James watches his teammates play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Monday, April 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are still awaiting the return of their leader.

LeBron James remains out as fans anticipate his eventual return to the hardwood. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Saturday (h/t Justin Benjamin of Lakers Daily) James could be back sometime this week.

However, the Lakers are still taking things day by day when it comes to James' availability. Head coach Frank Vogel said ahead of Monday's win over the Orlando Magic (h/t Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation) that James remained out indefinitely. 

That doesn't mean James isn't getting closer.

The 36-year-old teased his return with an Instagram video on Monday. Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder said in his postgame interview James was "close." It appears to be only a matter of time.

James has now been out over a month after suffering a high ankle sprain on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks. He was averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists prior to being sidelined. 

Los Angeles is finally getting healthier. Anthony Davis returned last week and is building back to a full workload. Now, James seems to be on the cusp of a return, though L.A. has yet to set a definitive date in that regard.


AD Praises Schroder   

John Raoux/Associated Press

The Lakers have had a tough time building momentum without James and Davis on the floor. But Schroder has been in a groove lately, and AD understands just how important he is for the Purple and Gold.

Davis said Schroder has been playing "huge" after the 27-year-old posted his third straight double-double on Monday.

Schroder scored 21 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the field, also dishing out 10 assists against just two turnovers. He was +23 in terms of plus-minus.

Indeed, Schroder has made quite an impact for their Lakers even in their losses. He nearly carried L.A. to a win over the Dallas Mavericks this past Thursday, scoring 25 points and dropping 13 dimes.

To what does Schroder owe this recent success? Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet reported Schroder has spent more time speaking with Lakers assistant and former All-NBA point guard Jason Kidd about playing the position. Schroder said he told Kidd to stay in his ear.

It is positive for Schroder to be building some momentum ahead of the playoffs. The next challenge will be incorporating "The Brow" and reintegrating him as a critical piece in the offense.

Davis struggled in his first two games back, but he scored 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field Monday against the Magic. Perhaps more importantly, Davis played 31 minutes. Vogel told reporters that Davis is no longer on a hard minutes restriction. 

The Lakers will likely hope Davis wastes little time getting back to All-Star form. But AD understands he's got a point guard playing at a high level as he continues to grow more comfortable in the meantime.


All stats obtained via Basketball Reference, unless otherwise noted.