Lakers' LeBron James: I'll Be 'Ready for Game 2' After Shoulder Injury Scare

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates after scoring against the New Orleans Pelicans in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
Derick Hingle/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward LeBron James told reporters he will be "ready for Game 2" after appearing to suffer a shoulder injury during Sunday's 99-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

James went to the ground in pain after Chris Paul grabbed at his arm when they battled for a rebound on a missed free throw.

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Players had to be separated after a CP3 loose ball foul on LeBron. https://t.co/KpFxOPco6r

He remained in the game.

James' durability is perhaps the most underrated aspect of a Hall of Fame career during which he's been the NBA's gold standard for nearly two decades. His absence this season with a high-ankle sprain, which lasted from March 20 through April 30, was the longest of his career.

The 36-year-old has remained a force at both ends of the floor when healthy. He averaged 25.0 points, 7.8 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 51.3 percent from the field across 45 appearances during the regular season.

The Lakers endured an injury-plagued regular season, but it appeared they were getting back to full strength at a perfect time to make a repeat bid. Any type of significant setback for James would obviously be a major blow to those championship hopes, so it is welcome news for the team that James will be ready for Tuesday's contest.