Injury Sidelines LeBron James In Lakers’ First NBA Game This Season

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was ruled out for Sunday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers with a left calf contusion.

It’s the first missed game of the season for James, 38.

He suffered the injury in Friday’s 122-119 in-season tournament victory over the Phoenix Suns.

It occurred with 4:22 left in the first quarter, when James drove to the basket and took an unintentional blow from Kevin Durant’s knee on his left shin. James gathered himself on the baseline before receiving treatment on the bench.

After the game, James was seen walking with a slight limp, and he told reporters that his shin was sore.

The Lakers (4-5) initially listed James as questionable for Sunday’s game before downgrading him hours before tipoff.

“He has some issues with that shin that [got] kneed in the last game, so, [we’re] just being proactive,” coach Darvin Ham said. “No reason to run him in the ground this early. But it’s an opportunity where he can get some treatment [and] not force it. So he’s day-to-day, but he definitely won’t be in tonight.”

Ham said he doesn’t think the injury is “anything ‘major major,'” but said it has caused James a lot of discomfort, hence the decision to hold him out now so he can rest up for the next stretch of games. The Lakers host the Grizzlies on Tuesday and Kings on Wednesday.

James is averaging a team-high 25.2 points per game, along with 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his 21st NBA campaign.

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