Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been ruled out for Tuesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies and will reportedly be sidelined indefinitely with a right foot injury.
The Lakers announced James' status for the Grizzlies game on Monday. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that there's fear that he's "likely to miss an extended period of time" with the injury.
James responded to news of the injury on Instagram with an image of his wrapped foot captioned: "F*n sucks!!!!"
LeBron shares a picture of his injured foot to his IG story pic.twitter.com/1vNhTGnO6G
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) February 28, 2023
James injured his foot in the third quarter of Sunday's 111-108 win over the Dallas Mavericks that saw the Lakers rally from a 27-point deficit. ESPN cameras and microphones recorded James declaring, "I heard a pop" after the non-contact injury as he clutched his foot in pain.
He returned to finish the game, where he tallied 26 points and eight rebounds in the win. After the game, he limped around American Airlines Center.
LeBron limps out of AAC — with a 27-point comeback win. pic.twitter.com/7jbcN5JgUG
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) February 27, 2023
Head coach Darvin Ham told reporters after the game that James was "good," but that he was scheduled for further evaluation Monday.
“He’s good,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said on Sunday. “Our medical people are looking at him right now, and we’ll get a reevaluation in the morning.”
The extent of what Monday's evaluation revealed wasn't immediately clear. The injury will require multiple opinions, and the Lakers are preparing for James' absence to extend for "multiple weeks," Charania reports.
Big blow for Lakers' playoff hopes
The injury arrives at a difficult time for the Lakers, who are looking to rally from 12th place in the West into playoff contention. As of Monday, they were one game behind 10th-place New Orleans Pelicans, who would earn the West's final play-in spot if the season ended today.
They were 1.5 games behind the Mavericks, who held control of sixth place and the final guaranteed playoff spot in a crowded race in the West that will see 13 teams vie for eight playoff spots down the regular-season stretch. The 29-32 Lakers have 21 games remaining on their schedule.
At last week's All-Star game, James called the stretch run "23 of the most important games of my career for a regular season." It turns out that he may miss a significant portion of them.