LeBron James is expected to be reevaluated in three weeks after the team announced that he has a tendon injury in his right foot. It was previously reported that James will not require surgery on the injured foot, per Turner Sports' Chris Haynes. James' return could depend on where the Los Angeles Lakers are in the standings after the three-week checkpoint, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 38-year-old superstar hurt his foot during the third quarter of Sunday's win against the Dallas Mavericks, but stayed in the game and finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists. James helped the Lakers erase a 27-point deficit and earn their biggest come-from-behind victory in 21 years, but, shortly thereafter, the good vibes disappeared. This is not a team that can afford to be without James for an extended period of time.
With James out of the lineup, Los Angeles lost 121-109 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, a game in which they allowed 86 points in the paint and 47 points in the third quarter. After a 123-117 win against the shorthanded Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, the Lakers are 30-33 and 11th in the Western Conference.
Seven of their next eight games are against teams fighting for play-in/playoff positioning: They host the Timberwolves on Friday, the Warriors on Sunday and the Grizzlies, Raptors and Knicks next week before a back-to-back in Houston and New Orleans and a home game against the Mavericks.
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The Lakers have a 6-10 record without James this season. They survived an early stretch without him due to the incredible play of Davis, but he is only now rounding back into form after missing almost two months himself.
Ideally, they would be able to lean on both Davis and recently acquired point guard D'Angelo Russell without James. Russell, however, has missed three straight games because of a sprained right ankle and told ESPN's Dave McMenamin that he'll be out against his former team on Friday.
Golden State is another one of Russell's former teams. Asked if he could be back for that matchup on Sunday, Russell told ESPN, "We'll see once we get through Friday."