The Los Angeles Lakers will be without LeBron James (left knee soreness) against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. Frank Vogel made the announcement in his pre-game media session about 90 minutes before tip-off.
According to Vogel, LeBron woke up with unexpected soreness in his knee — enough to hold him out against a physical Sixers squad. He will be “literally day-to-day” and won't need to undergo further testing, Vogel said.
Los Angeles will travel to face the Charlotte Hornets on Friday and the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
The Lakers listed LeBron as questionable earlier in the afternoon. James briefly came out onto the Wells Fargo Center court to get a few shots up.
LeBron left the floor after a few minutes of light shooting. We’ll get an update on his status for tonight’s game in about 45 minutes at Frank Vogel’s presser. LBJ is officially listed as questionable with a sore left knee.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 27, 2022
It's the latest untimely injury turn for the Lakers, who are coming off a feel-good night at the Barclays Center. Not only did they handle the Brooklyn Nets to get back to .500 and improve to 2-1 on the road trip, but Anthony Davis returned from a 17-game absence due to a left knee injury of his own (MCL sprain).
LeBron punctuated the win with back-to-back breakaway jams in the fourth quarter. Certainly, his knee looked fine there.
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) January 26, 2022
The Nets win marked just the 16th game LeBron, AD, and Russell Westbrook have played together. The 17th will have to wait.
Here were LeBron's thoughts on the matter:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 27, 2022
LeBron's minutes have been a topic of conversation around the Lakers. He's averaging nearly 37 minutes per game in his 19th season — fourth-most in basketball and his most since 2017-18.
James hasn't missed a game due to injury since Nov. 17. In the time since, the 37-year old has averaged 29.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 6.2 assists.