Anthony Davis and LeBron James both doubtful to play Tuesday

Lakers forwards LeBron James, left, and Anthony Davis share a laugh on the bench.
Lakers forwards LeBron James, left, and Anthony Davis are both doubtful to play Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks, but a return to play for Davis this season seems likely.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The news Monday on the injuries LeBron James and Anthony Davis are dealing with were on different ends of the spectrum, but the result is that both stars will be listed as doubtful when the reeling Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

James suffered a sprained left ankle Sunday during the Lakers’ loss at the New Orleans Pelicans. He didn’t practice Monday afternoon.

“Well, he definitely had some swelling from the ankle, the ankle sprain, and we’ll list him as doubtful for tomorrow,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said on Zoom. “He stayed back from practice today to get treatment on it and will be listed as doubtful.”


Vogel said Davis was able to practice Monday. He has been out since suffering a right mid-foot sprain on Feb. 16 against the Utah Jazz at Arena. Davis has missed 16 games.

Vogel said it was a “positive sign” to see Davis at practice.

“He went through full practice, did all of our drill work and did some live scrimmaging,” Vogel said. “So, we’re at a point now where it’s really about how he responds to that and the level of soreness he has coming out of his first live work. He’ll also be listed as doubtful for tomorrow.”

In the wake of another baffling loss, the Lakers are acutely aware that they are running out of time to win games and show they deserve a playoff shot.

March 28, 2022

Injuries to James and Davis left the two playing in just 21 games together this season. The Lakers (31-43) are just 11-10 when James and Davis have played together.

Still, having them both on the court as they limp toward the finish line of their underachieving season is paramount as the 10th-place Lakers try to hold off the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA’s play-in tournament. The Lakers have a one-game lead over the Spurs and the Lakers are a half-game behind the Pelicans.

“Definitely snake bitten with trying to get those guys on the floor together,” Vogel said. “... It’s one of those things that’s out of our control. It’s unfortunate. But we have to lock in, and again like we’ve done all season, we have to shift our identity on the floor with regards to who’s in and who’s out.”

Davis hasn’t played in almost six weeks, making his conditioning for a game up in the air.

“Well, he’s gotta get his legs under him,” Vogel said. “That’s the biggest thing. When you have a foot injury like this, it’s not as easy to do all your running and stay in shape as if you had a wrist injury or something like that. So that’s gonna take time, and because of that, you have to be more cautious with a return to play.


“So, if you throw him out there and he doesn’t have his wind, then … the injury becomes compromised. You over-compromise in certain ways, and you don’t want that. So, it’s definitely going to be a stretch here when we get him back when he’s still getting his legs under him.”

After the Lakers blew a 23-point lead and lost in New Orleans on Sunday, James was asked if he would sit out the game against the Mavericks.

“I hope not, because I hate missing games,” James said Sunday night. “That’s not in my nature.”

James said he started the rehabilitation “process of treatment right after the game” in New Orleans and would get around-the-clock treatment and then “see how I feel on Tuesday” and then “go from there.”




When: 4:30 p.m. PDT, Tuesday

On the air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, TNT; Radio: 710, 1330

Update: Led by Luca Doncic, the Mavericks (46-29) have moved to the fourth place in the Western Conference. Doncic is fifth in the NBA in scoring (27.9) and sixth in assists (8.5). The Mavericks are ranked second in the league in points allowed, giving up just 104.1 per game.