As the Los Angeles Lakers make a push for a play-in or NBA playoff spot, they now will have to do so without LeBron James for a period of time.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Monday, citing sources, that James is expected to miss an extended period of time with a foot injury he sustained in the Lakers' win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
James played just under 37 minutes against the Mavericks, finishing with 26 points and eight rebounds and helping the Lakers improve to 29-32.
While James was able to play through the injury, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing sources, that the 38-year-old's foot will be reassessed in two weeks to see how much progress has been made.
The Lakers already ruled James out for Tuesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
James will also miss Sunday's matchup against the Warriors at Crypto.com Arena, the season's final meeting between the two rivals. Los Angeles has won two of the first three games against Golden State this season.
Earlier on Monday, James posted a photo of his injured right foot to his Instagram story.
The Lakers currently sit in 12th place in the tightly contested Western Conference with 21 regular-season games remaining. James' injury certainly changes Los Angeles' outlook and alters their chances of making a late-season push for the postseason.
James has missed 14 of the Lakers' 61 games this season with various ailments. When he has been healthy enough to play, he has put up incredible numbers in his 20th NBA season, averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 47 games.
If James indeed misses several weeks, the pressure falls on Anthony Davis to stay healthy and carry the Lakers and their overhauled roster to the playoffs. D'Angelo Russell is dealing with his own ankle injury and is doubtful for Tuesday's game.
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During the All-Star break, James said the final 23 games of the season are some of the most important regular-season contests of his NBA career. But now it appears as though he will miss a sizable portion of those games, dealing a big blow to the Lakers' playoff hopes.