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LeBron James not returning for Lakers-Knicks, now aiming for Lakers-Rockets Wednesday

LeBron James in Lakers-Suns

May 9, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) yells from the sidelines during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James intended to return for Lakers-Knicks tonight.

But the Lakers announced he’d miss the game due to his right-ankle injury.

The new goal? For LeBron to play against the Rockets tomorrow.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This makes it harder to shake the idea LeBron’s ankle will bother him through the postseason.

But if LeBron returns even near full health, he could still lead the Lakers on a deep run. He’s that good.

Of course, it could go the other way.

The seventh-place Lakers (1.5 games back) are running out of time to catch the sixth-place Trail Blazers and directly qualify for the playoffs. Instead, Los Angeles will likely enter the play-in tournament.

Sooner than later, the Lakers need LeBron back on the court.