Why is LeBron James Not Playing? When Did he Get Hurt, Timeline for Return & More

Published 04/04/2021, 11:05 PM EDT
Feb 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) takes the ball down court in the second half of the game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers are missing two of their key pieces in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and it’s impacting their record more than it should. While the rest of the team, led by Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Dennis Schroder, has performed well against average teams, the elite teams eat them raw.

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That’s exactly what happened tonight against their rivals, the LA Clippers. They were unable to find any rhythm, and Clippers’ Marcus Morris led the way against his brother Markieff Morris.

However, fans are getting fidgety now. Not only have the purple and gold slipped to the fourth spot already, another loss means they could go down even further. Needless to say, the big question is, when will LeBron James return?

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Disaster struck against the Atlanta Hawks

It all started when the Lakers played the Atlanta Hawks and walked away with a 99-94 defeat. What’s worse is that LeBron James had to leave mid-way because of an ankle injury. And the team blamed Hawks’ Solomon Hill for the same.

Both Solomon and LeBron were trying to get hold of a loose ball near the sidelines. While LeBron got to it first, Solomon tried to contest for it further. Unfortunately, he ended up crashing into his leg, which twisted Bron’s ankle inwards.

LeBron James was seen grimacing in pain on the floor. Even though he tried to muster the courage to play and tried to drop a three-pointer, his discomfort landed him on the bench.

Bron has been ruled out of every game since, and it was later announced that he was suffering from an ankle sprain.

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (left) and Anthony Davis against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When will LeBron James return to the Lakers lineup?

While an ankle injury usually just requires some off-time, the purple and gold aren’t going to risk it with their star player. They want to ensure James returns completely fit, with no long-term repercussions to his health.

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That being said, there is still no definite timeline given for his return. As per LA Times, “Vogel also said that James ‘is still out indefinitely’.” This means the Lakers have to hold on a little longer without him.

Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the closing second of the Lakers 96-94 loss to the Miami Heat at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

One can only hope these injury hurdles don’t hamper their second run to the championship this season. Do you think the rest of the team has it in them to not let the team slip further down in the competitive West?

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Read also- ‘I Wanna Hoop’: Lakers’ LeBron James Makes Honest Admission Amid Injury Recovery

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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