Lakers' LeBron James Will Not Return from Ankle Injury vs. Rockets

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 12, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Friday, April 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James won't play Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets.

James announced he's "getting close" but still not ready to play:

LeBron James @KingJames

Getting close but I won’t be in the lineup tonight but more importantly I will be there to put that CHAMPIONSHIP banner in the rafters at Staples Center in front of our fans!! #No17 💜💛

The Lakers' next game is Saturday on the road against the Indiana Pacers.

The 36-year-old has averaged 25.0 points, 7.8 assists and 7.9 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game in his third season with the Lakers. The four-time NBA MVP and four-time NBA champion is looking to lead the team to back-to-back championships.

James dominated during the first half of the 2020-21 NBA season en route to earning his 17th All-Star Game appearance.

However, the 18-year veteran was sidelined for over a month after suffering a high-ankle sprain when Atlanta Hawks forward Solomon Hill rolled into his leg while diving for a loose ball in a March 20 game.

James briefly stayed in the game before exiting for good. He missed 20 matches and returned on April 30 against the Sacramento Kings.

However, the Lakers star left his second game post-return after aggravating the ankle injury against the Toronto Raptors. He will now have missed six straight with Wednesday's news.

Unfortunately, he will be sidelined once again, which means fellow superstar Anthony Davis should take on a greater usage load. Without James, AD notably had 39.0 points (on 25.0 shots per game), 12.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists over a two-game stretch on May 7 and 9.