The Los Angeles Lakers are bracing to be without LeBron James for multiple weeks after he suffered a foot injury against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
James crumbled to the court in the third quarter with the injury but remained in the game, finishing out the contest and helping the Lakers complete a massive 27-point comeback.
However, the Lakers got some bad news on the severity of James’ injury, which is expected to sideline him for multiple weeks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“There’s fear Lakers star LeBron James is likely to miss an extended period of time with his right foot injury. James suffered the injury in Sunday’s win over Dallas, played through it, and belief is he will be sidelined an indefinite amount,” Charania reported. “James miraculously played through the injury that is now expected to require multiple opinions, sources said, and the Lakers are bracing for his absence to be multiple weeks.”
Just prior to Charania’s report, James issued his own response to the injury news on Instagram with a two-word post, writing “Fkn sucks,” with his foot wrapped up.
That’s bad news for the Lakers, who are trying to hunt down a playoff spot. Thanks to a three-game winning streak, LA is now 29-32 and knocking on the door of a playoff spot, just 2.5 games back of the No. 6 seed Mavericks. The Lakers are a game out of the Play-in Tournament in a logjammed Western Conference.
James was pretty quiet about the injury after the game and was seen limping after leaving the locker room.
“It’s been better,” James said when asked about the injury in his postgame press conference. “I definitely wasn’t going to locker room and not finish the game. The importance of this game and then the momentum that we had, I felt like we could steal one after being down.”
When he was on the court, James could be seen clearly telling the trainers, “I heard a pop.” That being said, an exact diagnosis has not been delivered on the injury.
It adds to the injury issues for James, who has been listed on the injury report for 40 games with left ankle or foot soreness this season, even missing some time with it.
Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said that James had reached a “dire point” with his left foot injury prior to the All-Star break.
“I was told LeBron was severely struggling with that foot injury he has,” Haynes said on his podcast “#ThisLeague Uncut” with fellow NBA veteran reporter Marc Stein. “It gets to points where it just gets unbearable and he plays through it… The way it’s explained to me is that might be something that lingers all season long, but it reached the dire point.”
While losing James is terrible news for the Lakers, they can find some solace in the fact that their new additions ahead of the trade deadline have helped turn their momentum around. The Lakers have won three games in a row.
The injury to James now amplifies the situation around guard D’Angelo Russell, who is currently sidelined with an ankle injury he suffered last week against the Warriors. He missed Sunday’s game against the Mavericks and is listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s matchup against the Grizzlies.
Still, Anthony Davis is bullish on what the Lakers can do.
“The pieces we added for defense, for offense looks pretty good,” Anthony Davis said after beating the Warriors. “I think we’re playing well. We’re clicking. … Hopefully D-Lo’s injury isn’t severe where he misses time. I think we got a complete team where we’re able to make a little run.”