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Calf injury sidelines Lakers’ James

LeBron James, #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Jaime Jaquez Jr., #11 of the Miami Heat, compete for the ball during the second quarter of the game at Kaseya Center on 6 November 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

LeBron James was ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers home game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday with a calf contusion, the first missed game of the season for the NBA superstar.

James, 38, came up limping in the first quarter of the Lakers’ victory over Phoenix on Friday after Suns star Kevin Durant inadvertently caught him with a knee to the shin.

Clearly hurting, James took a moment at the baseline to test his leg and compose himself before receiving treatment on the bench.

He returned to the game to score 32 points and key the Lakers’ comeback from a 14-point deficit for their first road win of the season.

After the game, however, James said his shin was still painful.

“It never loosened up,” he said. “Pretty sore right now. Obviously, because the adrenaline is calming down and iced it and all that stuff. Now it’s pretty sore.”

James had been listed as “questionable” for the game on the Lakers’ injury report on Saturday but was ruled “out” several hours before tip-off.

In his 21st NBA season, James is leading the Lakers with 25.2 points per game along with 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

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