After having his sprained left ankle reevaluated by the Lakers‘ medical staff, star forward LeBron James has been ruled out for the rest of the 2021-22 season, the team announced today (via Twitter). The Lakers will be without James when they host the Thunder on Friday and visit Denver on Sunday.
Los Angeles was eliminated from play-in contention earlier this week and doesn’t control its first-round pick, so the results of the team’s final two games aren’t particularly consequential to the franchise.
Still, James’ absence is notable since it means he’ll finish the season with only 56 games played, making him ineligible to qualify for the 2021-22 scoring title — players must appears in at least 58 of 82 regular season contests to qualify.
James’ average of 30.3 points per game this season represents the second-highest of his 19-year career and would put him neck and neck with the current leader, Joel Embiid (30.4 PPG). However, he won’t get the opportunity to vie for the second scoring title of his career.
Anthony Davis (right foot soreness) and Russell Westbrook (right shoulder soreness) also missed Thursday’s game in Golden State, but the Lakers have yet to make any announcements about their availability for the final two games of the season.