The Lakers have announced that LeBron James will miss his third game in a row with his ongoing left knee soreness, listing him as out for their game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Joining him on the injury report is co-star Anthony Davis, who is once again listed as questionable with right wrist soreness.
Malik Monk, meanwhile, has been upgraded to probable after being out against the Charlotte Hornets. That’s is a good sign given that his groin issue was seen as potentially more serious, both due to the fact that it previously caused him to miss multiple preseason games, and because he was immediately ruled out vs. Charlotte (rather than being a gametime decision like James and Davis).
Additionally on the injury report is Russell Westbrook, who is listed as probable with right knee soreness, the same issue he scored 35 points on in Friday’s game. As his designation hints at, he’ll probably play through it.
James has missed the last two games with his own knee issue, and while head coach Frank Vogel has said he is truly day-to-day, it seems that the team is going to be really cautious with him as they wrap up their road trip. The team has mostly been mum on any specifics regarding James, but there is not believed to be a play where James sustained the injury. The team has said he just woke up with soreness on the morning of the Sixers game on Thursday.
Davis missed the team’s 117-114 loss to the Hornets on Friday given that it was the second night of a back-to-back and he’s also returning from an MCL sprain, but x-rays came back negative on his wrist, so his injury is not thought to be serious.
So although Davis being listed as questionable still is obviously going to lead to some concern, as will James’ own ailment, this is probably not worth panicking over just yet. The team may just want to be extra careful with their stars and give their bodies enough time to ramp up before hitting the floor again in a game that doesn’t start at 10 a.m. on the West coast like their matchup with the Hawks does on Sunday. The Lakers also have Monday and Tuesday off, and so skipping this one will not only spare James (or Davis) the early start, but give anyone who doesn’t play an extra three days to rest their body.