LeBron James has been listed as questionable for the Los Angeles Lakers' matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday due to a sore left ankle. James left the Lakers' loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday early and did not play in the team's thrilling win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. 

After playing 36 total minutes against the Kings, the 21-year veteran exited the floor with around four minutes left on the clock. Though there was no apparent injury on the floor, James was visibly grimacing in pain. 

"I'll be all right," James said after the game, "It's just my ankle. It's just what I've been dealing with before the [All-Star] break, after the break. I'm just managing it the best way I can.

"I played the whole third, sat a little bit to start the fourth, and when I got back in, it kind of just -- whatever. It's just something I've been dealing with."

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said James is dealing with "severe soreness" and should be considered "day-to-day." While James is not facing a long-term absence, Ham noted he'll have to manage the problem over the rest of the season. ESPN reported that the ankle pain is the result of "wear and tear." 

James has been remarkably durable this season all things considered. Friday night against the Bucks will be just the ninth game he's missed, which is a reversal of a trend we've seen in recent years. James has already played more games than he did last season, and is on pace to reach the 60-game mark for just the second time since he joined the Lakers back in 2018. 

As the Lakers battle for playoff positioning down the stretch, James' health will play a significant role in where they end up. After the win over the Bucks, the Lakers improved to 35-30 and climbed back into ninth place in the Western Conference, and three games behind the sixth-place Phoenix Suns for the final automatic playoff spot. 

While the Lakers entered the All-Star break on a hot streak, they are 5-4 since play resumed and are in the middle of an extremely difficult stretch of their schedule. After beating the Bucks, their next opponents are the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kings and Golden State Warriors. If James remains sidelined or even compromised, the Lakers will certainly be in trouble for those games.