Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers with a left calf contusion, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes reports.
James suffered the injury during Friday’s 122-119 win over the Phoenix Suns. However, he returned to the game despite the injury and scored 32 points, 11 rebounds and 6 rebounds.
“It never came loose,” James told reporters after the game about his calf. “(It) pretty much locked in right then. So I was trying to stay calm, make sure I was OK, and try to stay stretched out and as loose as possible, play the game and stay effective.
“Very sore right now. Obviously because the adrenaline is calming it down and icing it, so sore right now.”
Losing James for any length of time would be a devastating blow to the Lakers. The 19-time All-Star, 19-time All-NBA selection, four-time NBA MVP and four-time NBA Champion shows no signs of slowing down at age 38 and entering his 21st NBA season. signs.
James played 35.0 minutes in 9 games, averaging 25.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists, while shooting 56.9% from the field.
Understandably, he played an immeasurable role in leading the seventh-seeded Lakers to the Western Conference Finals last year, and his presence has made the Lakers a championship contender once again.
Without James, big man Anthony Davis will be tasked with filling the scoring void while players like D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reeves should shoulder more of the ball-handling duties. Cam Reddish and Rui Hachimura will also get more playing time.