Lakers Rumors: LeBron James Aiming to Return from Ankle Injury Next Week

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMay 6, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James dribble the ball during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, April 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is "aiming" to return from his ankle injury at some point next week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium:

Stadium @Stadium

"Sources tell me LeBron James is aiming to return to the Lakers lineup next week..." The latest from NBA Insider @ShamsCharania: https://t.co/JS7Ur1lzEm

Charania noted James could return to action as soon as Tuesday (against the New York Knicks) or Wednesday (against the Houston Rockets).

The 36-year-old missed 20 games due to a high ankle sprain he suffered in the March 20 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and was sidelined again by the injury just days after his return. The news came as the Lakers were fighting to keep themselves out of the play-in tournament a season after claiming the NBA title. 

The Lakers are tied with the Dallas Mavericks at 37-28 for fifth place in the Western Conference, with the Portland Trail Blazers (37-29) just a half-game back.

James is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists through 43 games this season. 

While the four-time MVP is sidelined, Anthony Davis will be charged with leading the offense now that he is healthy, and Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should be able to help keep the team afloat.

However, it's likely that any deep run into the postseason will depend on James being at the forefront for the Lakers.