LeBron James has narrowly avoided another major injury after colliding with Desmond Bane in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 121-118 win over Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday
Bane clashed with James’ right leg in the first half, causing James to tumble to the floor. The Lakers star remained there for several minutes as L.A. called timeout so the team’s medical staff could check on him.
The collision involved the same leg that suffered a high right ankle sprain last season when the Atlanta Hawks’ Solomon Hill crashed into James’ lower body while lunging for a steal. That injury caused him to miss 26 games and didn’t fully heal until months into the offseason.
“The first thing I was thinking to myself was, ‘Not again,'” James said to reporters at the end of the game. “Because obviously it was almost similar but not the same kind of play. Guy falls into my leg and there’s nothing you can do about it and I couldn’t get my leg out of there in time.”
James not only stayed in the game, but ended up scoring a game-high 40 minutes, finishing with 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks in the win.
“Just wanted to take a moment on the floor, just hopefully it wasn’t getting worse,” James said about the moments after the contact. “Had an opportunity just to tie my shoe again and see if I’m able to go, I was able to continue to go.”
The 19-year veteran said his leg felt “sore” after the game but he planned to receive “around the clock” treatment heading into Tuesday’s road game against the San Antonio Spurs, which he plans to play in.
“Hopefully I’m ready to go,” James said.