The Los Angeles Lakers are listing LeBron James (right ankle sprain) and Alex Caruso (back spasms) as questionable for their Sunday game against the Toronto Raptors. Caruso has missed the last two games with the spasms, while James just returned from a 20-game absence with the same ankle injury.
In addition to James and Caruso, Kyle Kuzma evidently sprained his left thumb and is listed as probable as a result, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right ankle sprain), Anthony Davis (right calf strain), Marc Gasol (volar plate fracture, left pinkie finger), and Dennis Schröder (left calf soreness) are all also probable with the same injuries they’ve been dealing with for at least a few games each.
The big one here is obviously James being listed as questionable just a game after returning, but while it’s obviously possible his injury worsened overnight, James did say he made it through his first game back unscathed, so this likely isn’t anything to be too concerned about yet. Frank Vogel did say that the Lakers and James had not decided whether or not to he would play in back-to-backs yet, so it’s always possible that they could look to rest him against the Raptors and save him for their game against the Denver Nuggets the next night if they did want to give him some extra recovery time after his first game back on the floor.
For now though, it’s probably a fair bet that James plays, at least until we hear otherwise, as James has played in plenty of games this season that he’s been listed as questionable for.
If Caruso misses another game, the Lakers will be hurting in the guard defense department as they have been the last few games. Some of this is coincidental, but it’s not a complete accident that the Lakers have allowed 111.9 points per 100 possessions the last two games without him, over five points worse than their season-long, league-best average of 106.5. If he does sit, though, expect Ben McLemore to continue to get to make his case for postseason minutes, and for more playing time for Schröder.
We’ll find out more about all these injuries as tip-off gets closer on Sunday, when the Lakers will host the Raptors at 7 p.m. PT.