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LeBron James to miss Lakers' next two games due to injured ankle

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23), shown March 20, 2021, aggravated his right ankle injury during Sunday's loss to the Toronto Raptors. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23), shown March 20, 2021, aggravated his right ankle injury during Sunday's loss to the Toronto Raptors. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 4 (UPI) -- Star forward LeBron James is expected to miss the Los Angeles Lakers' next two games to rest his injured right ankle.

League sources told ESPN and the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that James is likely to sit out back-to-back games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday and Friday.

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James also could miss additional games beyond this week, according to the outlets, as he works through discomfort in his right ankle. The high ankle sprain kept him out six weeks until he returned and played in two games over the weekend.

ESPN reported that James, who has missed 21 games because of the ankle issue, has experienced difficulties making hard cuts and exploding since his return. The 17-time NBA All-Star selection and the Lakers will continue to evaluate the ailment and proceed cautiously as the team gears for the playoffs.

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The 36-year-old James played in home losses to the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings this past weekend. He was held out of the lineup for the final seven minutes of Sunday's contest against the Raptors after experiencing soreness in the ankle.

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James then sat out Monday's game against the Denver Nuggets. In 43 games this season, he has averaged 25 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists.

Entering Tuesday night, the Lakers (37-28) were a half-game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference standings. Los Angeles was a full game ahead of the seventh-seeded Portland Trail Blazers.

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The Lakers are 8-14 this season without James in the lineup.

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