LOS ANGELES, USA, Apr 8 – LeBron James will miss the Los Angeles Lakers’ final two games of the season due to an ankle injury, the crisis-hit NBA giants said in a statement on Friday.
James, 37, was sidelined for the Lakers’ defeat to Golden State on Thursday and season-ending loss in Phoenix on Tuesday and has been struggling for fitness since suffering an ankle sprain on March 27.
The Lakers said in a medical update that the injury was recently re-evaluated and it had been decided he would miss the Lakers last two games of the season for “continued healing and an expected full recovery.”
The injury means James will not now be able to overtake Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid for this season’s scoring title.
Embiid has averaged 30.4 points per game this season in 67 games. James has averaged 30.3 points in 56 games.
A player is required to take part in at least 58 games to be eligible in the final scoring rankings.
James’ injury caps a miserable season for the Lakers, who on Tuesday were eliminated from contention for a postseason berth after their defeat to the Suns.
It is only the fourth time since James entered the NBA in 2003 that he has failed to reach the playoffs.
The Lakers’ final two games of the season are against Oklahoma City on Friday and Denver on Sunday.