Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expected to miss the next three games and return next week for the team's final four regular season games, The Athletic reported Thursday.
James was already expected to miss the next two games -- Thursday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers and Friday at Portland -- with Sunday's home game against the Phoenix Suns added to give the superstar more time to heal, per the report.
The Lakers play two sets of back-to-back games next week, home vs. the Knicks and Houston, then on the road at Indiana and New Orleans to end the regular season. That means James would likely play in only two of those games to get game-ready for the playoffs.
The Lakers entered Thursday's action as the sixth seed in the West at 37-28. Remaining in the top six is imperative in order to avoid the play-in tournament.
This season, the four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.
--Field Level Media