Frank Vogel provides update on LeBron James’ status ahead of Game 2 vs. Suns
LeBron James admitted as the regular season came to a close that there was virtually no chance he would reach 100% health anytime soon regardless of how long the Los Angeles Lakers remain in the postseason. Entering a critical Game 2 Tuesday night down 0-1 to the Phoenix Suns, James’ status obviously is of the utmost importance as the Lakers aim to even up their first-round series.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has offered an update on James’ condition ahead of the showdown, and it sounds like the star’s health in the short term is a day-by-day situation at best.
“In an ideal situation he has another few weeks to fully put it behind him,” Vogel said, per Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. “But he’s moving pretty well in most situations and I approach the game like he’s a healthy player and just understand that there’s going to be a handful of plays where it looks like it limits him.”
James entered the postseason a bit hobbled, to say the least. The Lakers star endured the longest injury-related layoff of his career this season, sitting out 20 games due to a high-ankle sprain. He then missed six more games down the stretch due to lingering effects of the injury before returning for the Lakers’ final two regular-season games and last Wednesday’s victory over the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament.
James was somewhat battered in the Lakers’ win over the Warriors and Sunday’s 99-90 loss to the Suns.
Late in the fourth quarter with just about two minutes remaining against Golden State, James took the ball to the hoop where he was met by a contesting Draymond Green, whose arm whacked the Lakers star up in the face. James remained on the court for some time after the hard foul.
Then on Sunday, a foul on James by Chris Paul in the fourth quarter left the Lakers star once again down on the court and almost led to an all-out scuffle between the teams.
Vogel characterized the foul as “dangerous” and “overly aggressive” after the game.
Regardless of whether Paul’s foul was dirty or not, the fact that James is taking a beating this early on in the postseason isn’t a good sign for the Lakers, especially given the star’s already-compromised condition.
That being said, it sounds like James is good to go for Tuesday night. How well he can play under the challenging circumstances remains to be seen.