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Medical Analysis: How concerning is LeBron James’ ankle soreness?

LeBron James has missed the Lakers’ last two games with ankle soreness. Should we be concerned?

Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has missed the last two games with what the team is calling “ankle soreness” following the team’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies in which guard Desmond Bane unknowingly fell into the right leg of James while coming down from a contested shot in the paint.

The scene immediately brought back memories of last season’s injury vs. the Atlanta Hawks, in which Solomon Hill dove for a ball near James’ leg, resulting in a stubborn “high ankle sprain” injury, aka a syndesmotic tear.

With the “ankle soreness” being on the same ankle as that high ankle injury — a fact that has seemingly brought a lot of consternation to Lakers fans, you should see my social media DMs and mentions — it naturally leads to the question: How concerned should we about this for LeBron?

I answered that question to the best of my ability in the following video based on multiple lines of evidence, including video review, and what the team has told us thus far.

Another “data point” — which occurred after I had already filmed — is that James was out on the court working with Lakers assistant Phil Handy prior to the game vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder game (that’s the first and last time I’ll mention that game again) along with Kent Bazemore, on some coordination, footwork and rhythm drills.

It’s another positive sign for James’ ankle and recovery; a recovery that the team and all fans are obviously hoping continues trending towards a quick return, particularly with the team already missing key perimeter players in Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and Trevor Ariza.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.