LeBron is listed as probable for Monday’s matchup vs. the Orlando Magic at Crypto.com Arena due to left ankle tendonitis.
LeBron played 39 minutes in the Lakers’ overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. Afterward, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said he was uncertain of LeBron and Anthony Davis‘ availability for the second leg of their first back-to-back of the season. Neither LeBron nor the Lakers have publicly mentioned an ankle issue.
AD, who played 42 minutes at the Golden 1 Center, is not listed on the injury report, so he appears to be ready to go against Orlando. D’Angelo Russell and Taurean Prince also played 41 minutes in Sacramento and are unlisted. Rui Hachimura (left eye contusion) and Cam Reddish (right foot soreness) are listed as probable for the Magic game.
LeBron played 29 minutes on opening night vs. the Denver Nuggets, which Ham said would be around his regular workload. LeBron insisted he was not “upset” or “surprised” by the restriction, as it had been worked out ahead of time. Two days later, though, LeBron played 35 minutes, including the entire fourth quarter, in the Lakers’ win over the Phoenix Suns. He played 39 minutes — including the final 12:27 — against the Kings.
Ham said Sunday that while he’s fearful of running LeBron and AD “into the ground” early in the season,, “there was no way in hell” LeBron was going to exit a close game.
“Leading up to it, you just try to manage it better,” Ham said about LeBron’s minutes before crunchtime. “As best you can.”
LeBron is averaging 23.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists through three games. He missed 27 games in 2022-23.
The Lakers (1-2) next play on Wednesday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.