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Lakers' LeBron James Reportedly Won't Return from Ankle Injury vs. Knicks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 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

LeBron James can't catch a break.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar will be out for Tuesday's game against the New York Knicks and is looking to return Wednesday when the Lakers play the Houston Rockets, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin.

James, 36, missed a large chunk of this season as he battled a high ankle sprain. His 25 missed games this year marked the second time in the past three seasons he's missed 25 or more games (his 27 missed contests in the 2018-19 season were the most in his career).

Even James acknowledged that his days of being completely healthy were probably over.

"I knew I wasn't going to get back to 100 percent. It's impossible," he told reporters in late April. "I don't think I will ever get back to 100 percent in my career."

When healthy, of course, he remains arguably the game's best player, averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from three.

So long as he and Anthony Davis are healthy, the Lakers are a major threat to repeat as champions. The question is becoming whether both players can stay healthy for another long playoff run.

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While he's out injured, players like Davis, Dennis Schroder and Andre Drummond will have to pick up the scoring slack, while Talen Horton-Tucker and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, among others, could see their roles increase.

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