It turns out that Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James isn’t indestructible after all. During L.A.’s matchup with the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday afternoon, James was forced to leave the game after twisting his ankle during the second quarter. While trying to secure a loose ball, Hawks forward Solomon Hill fell on top of James’ right ankle and James fell to the floor in pain.
James didn’t sub out of the game right away. In fact, he stayed in the contest and knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner before he checked out and headed back to the locker room. Shortly after James exited the contest it was announced that he would not return to the game. X-rays on the ankle were negative, but after an MRI James was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain. He will be sidelined indefinitely, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
You can see the the play where the injury occurred below:
Shortly after it was reported that he would be sidelined indefinitely, James took to Twitter to address the injury.
“Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates! I’m hurt inside and out right now,” James wrote. “The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.”
The loss of James for the foreseeable future is obviously a big blow to L.A. The Lakers are already without All-Star forward Anthony Davis due to a calf strain in his right leg, and they are in the midst of a tight battle for postseason positioning in the Western Conference. The Lakers currently sit third in the West, but they’re only two games ahead of the fourth-seeded Clippers and just 2.5 games ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers, who are in the sixth spot.
Without their two best players, it will be difficult for the Lakers to maintain their spot in the standings. It’s tough to tell exactly how many games James will miss at this point, but it’s safe to say that the Lakers will be exceedingly cautious when it comes to the reigning Finals MVP. After all, the most important thing for L.A. is that James is healthy for postseason play.