Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will miss at least two weeks of NBA action after injuring his right foot on Sunday, and could face missing the rest of the season depending on where the Lakers are when he returns.
James went down during the third quarter of their 111-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, and was heard saying "I heard a pop" as he hit the deck. He got back up and finished the game, but was later ruled out 'indefinitely' following initial post-game checks.
It seems that the injury is worse than first feared, and ESPN reported that he will be assessed in two weeks - although his absence could extend well beyond that. The injury has come at a crucial point in the Lakers' season, and his eventual return will be determined by where the Lakers are in the standings when he comes back.
Given how they've struggled this season, the Lakers could be out of the Play-Off picture in a few weeks without James, so it's possible the team will shut him down for the year. After a successful trade window, and a winning run of three games, things were really starting to look up for the Lakers. They may still be 12th in the Western Conference, but they're still within reach of the top six.
But they will now have to keep chase without James for the time being, as the 38-year-old is expected to be out for an extended period - not what the Lakers wanted to hear. NBA insider Shams Charania offered an update on James situation, and said on FanDuel TV: "LeBron James is expected to miss an indefinite amount of time, it will be an extended period that he will be out.
"I’m told likely at least 2 or 3 weeks. I'm told that he initially hurt that right foot in January and he was faced with a decision at that point whether to shut it down then or keep playing.
"He decided to keep going because of where the Lakers were in January. He then hurt it on Sunday, said live on air 'I heard a pop' but somehow played through it and got back into the game, but this injury comes at a devastating time.
"21 games left in their season, they've won three in a row and now James is out for an extended period of time." This now heaps a lot of the pressure on Anthony Davis to deliver, and this could be the perfect opportunity for the Lakers star to prove he can be the main guy while James is out.
We have already seen Davis' brilliance this season, dropping 40-point games consecutively while James was on the sidelines back then. But it's crunch time now, and the franchise is in desperate need of a play-off appearance.