Lakers star LeBron James to sit out game against Bucks because of ankle problem

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Lakers will continue their homestand Friday against one of the NBA’s best teams, Milwaukee, but they’ll be minus one of their best players when they host the Bucks.

LeBron James will sit out because of the ongoing left ankle issue that has kept him on the injury report for the bulk of his 21st season.

James isn’t dealing with any structural issues, people with knowledge of the injury not authorized to speak publicly have said, but it is something that needs to be managed with rest and recovery. James said his ankle had been feeling fine until he needed to leave in the fourth quarter of the game Wednesday against Sacramento.

James had been listed as questionable until Friday afternoon.

The Bucks listed Giannis Antetokounmpo as probable, while Damian Lillard is questionable because of a rib injury. Khris Middleton (left ankle) is out.

For James it’ll be the ninth game he has sat out this season. He has sat out consecutive games on the schedule only once — before and after the All-Star break when he underwent a procedure on his ankle.

In his last seven games, James averaged 28.4 points, 9.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 58.1% from the field and 47.4% on three-pointers.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.