LeBron James' season is shut down to make way for his recovery
Los Angeles, California - The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed on Friday that they’re shutting down LeBron James' season, two games prior to their own regular-season finale.
The star will not play in either of the team's final two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Denver Nuggets.
The Lakers tweeted: "LeBron James' left ankle was recently reassessed by the team's medical staff, and it was determined that due to the ankle sprain James suffered in a game on March 27th, he will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 NBA season to allow for continued healing and an expected full recovery."
LeBron sprained his ankle in a defeat against the New Orleans Pelicans on that date in March and has been on the mend ever since.
The NBA great has had the second most productive campaign of his storied career in terms of points per game, though the Lakers have had a year to forget, failing to reach the playoffs or even next week's play-in tournament.
The 37-year-old ends the season having played 56 games overall, averaging 30.3 points per game, only the second time he has averaged over 30 in a season (31.4 PPG for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005-06). Only MVP candidate Joel Embiid (30.4) averages more in the league this season.
LeBron averaged 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game, and brought three-pointers into his arsenal more than ever, hitting a career-high season average of 2.9 shots and 8.0 attempts per game.
Also this season, James became the first player in NBA history to record more than 10,000 career points, rebounds, and assists.
Cover photo: REUTERS