LA Lakers superstar forward LeBron James missed the Lakers’ 116-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday due to a left calf contusion. He is now in danger of missing his second straight game, as he is listed as questionable to play on Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
James sustained his injury during Friday’s 122-119 win over the Phoenix Suns. He collided with Suns superstar forward Kevin Durant in the first quarter and briefly left the game before returning.
James ended up playing 36 minutes against Phoenix and thrived, despite playing through injury. He finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and six assists on 64.7% shooting.
“It never loosened up,” James said.
“Pretty much locked up right then and there. So I tried to keep my composure, make sure I was okay, and try to keep it stretched out and as loose as possible and play the game and be effective.”
Before Sunday’s game, Lakers coach Darvin Ham spoke about how the team was being cautious with James, who will turn 39 next month. With it being so early in the season, the Lakers are likely trying to prevent the four-time NBA champion from aggravating his injury.
Through nine games, James is averaging 25.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers per game on 56.9% shooting.
How have the LA Lakers fared without LeBron James?
Since joining the LA Lakers in 2018, LeBron James has struggled with injuries. He has played in fewer than 60 games in four of his first five seasons with the franchise.
The Lakers have struggled without James, going just 45-67 in his absence since the 2018-19 season, including Sunday’s win over Portland.
Despite being 38 years old, James is still the Lakers’ leading scorer this season (25.2 ppg) and the team has been relying heavily on him. So, LA (5-5) will likely need him back as soon as possible to stay afloat in the competitive Western Conference.