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Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham told reporters Tuesday that the team is being “proactive” with superstar LeBron James’ left ankle injury and considers him “day-to-day” moving forward.
The 39-year-old James, who is in his 21st NBA season, has posted 24.8 points, 7.4 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game this year.
James has had issues on-and-off with his left ankle all season, but the issue is he won’t get much time in the immediate future to rest it. Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 5, the Lakers have seven games, including a back-to-back set on Jan. 29 and 30.
The All-Star break is approaching after Feb. 14, and Los Angeles will have a week off. James will presumably play in the All-Star game unless he’s still hurt, but that time off can certainly be valuable for him.
At 22-22, the Lakers need James healthy and available as much as possible. The struggling team sits ninth in the Western Conference, and missing the playoffs is a realistic possibility for a team that entered this year with great expectations after a West finals berth last season.
James has done all he can to keep the team afloat, though. Without him, the Lakers will rely on Anthony Davis to carry the offense alongside the likes of Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell. More playing time could be en route for the likes of Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince and Rui Hachimura.