Lakers star LeBron James will not return for the remainder of Saturday’s game against the Hawks after sustaining an ankle injury in the first half.
Early in the second quarter, Atlanta forward Solomon Hill dove for a loose ball and collided with James. He appeared to roll over on James’ right ankle, and the four-time MVP screamed in pain as he descended to the ground.
James tried to stay in the game and even emptied a 3-point corner when play resumed, but the Lakers eventually called a time-out after it became clear he was struggling to move on the ground. James walked straight back to the locker room, knocking over a chair in frustration as he walked down the Staples Center tunnel.
Los Angeles announced shortly before the conclusion of the first half that James would be outside for the rest of the game. The Lakers were already without All-Star forward Anthony Davis, who is still recovering from a calf injury he argued in a Feb. 14 game against the Nuggets.
James scored 10 points and distributed four assists in 11 minutes.
With the 3 corner he buried after the injury, LeBron secured his 1036th game with at least 10 points. This is by far the record. Michael Jordan is second on this list with 866. https://t.co/Jnha5vQVhk
– Bill Oram (@billoram) March 20, 2021
Ahead of Saturday’s contest, James had played 40 of the Lakers’ first 41 games this season. With averages of 25.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game, the 36-year-old is considered one of the top contenders for the 2020-2021 NBA MVP award.
UPDATE: James has been diagnosed with a high right ankle sprain, and he will be absent indefinitely, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The x-rays on James’ ankle came back negative, by Wojnarowski.