Lakers’ LeBron James out vs. Bucks, day to day with ‘severe’ ankle soreness, coach says

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James missed his ninth game of the season Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks due to left ankle tendinopathy.

“Just experiencing some severe soreness and we just decided for him not to play tonight,” coach Darvin Ham said of James pregame.

Ham said James’ injury is a “day to day thing” and the team will see how he feels Saturday before determining his status for Sunday’s home game against Minnesota.

Ham added that James’ ankle injury doesn’t appear to be curable before the season ends.

“I don’t think anybody’s injury at this point in the season or anything they’re managing will get better,” Ham said. “I mean, it’s just, it’s the reality of a long NBA season and an extremely long NBA career. And so you just have to be mindful of it, be efficient with what you do with him and what you expose him to.

“And we trust our staff. They’re gonna do their due diligence to make sure he’s put in the best possible position to help us.”

James missed the Lakers’ final game before the All-Star break and their first game back from the break due to the ankle injury, which has affected him for months.

The 39-year-old superstar limped off the floor to the locker room during a Lakers timeout late in their 130-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

“I’ll be all right,” James said Wednesday. “It’s just what I’ve been dealing with before the break, after the break. I’m just managing it the best way I can. … Some games are better than others. … So, each game, each day is different.”

Despite winning 10 of its past 15 games, the Lakers dropped back to 10th in the West this week. They are 4-4 without James this season.

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(Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today)

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