LeBron James has been ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ must-win game against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday after failing to recover from an ankle injury.

A statement from the Lakers said James was unavailable for the road game in Arizona due to a left ankle sprain.

James missed the Lakers defeat to Denver on Monday, when the 2020 NBA champions crashed to a sixth straight loss that left them on the brink of failing to qualify for the postseason.

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Wed, 06 Apr

Wednesday April 6th

With four games of the regular season remaining, the Lakers need to win all of their remaining fixtures and hope the San Antonio Spurs slip up to have any chance of advancing to the play-in tournament.

The Lakers will be eliminated on Wednesday if they were to lose to Phoenix and the Spurs beat Denver in Colorado.

If the Lakers fail to reach the postseason, it would mark only the fourth time since James entered the league in 2003 that he has not gone to the playoffs.

It comes as a report from Bleacher Report claims Lakers coach Frank Vogel is expected to be fired at the end of the season.

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Utah Jazz head coach Quin Synder is one possible replacement for Vogel, although he told Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune: “My focus is on our guys and our team. And as I said, addressing hypotheticals in these types of questions in any form I feel like is disrespectful.”

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers has also been floated as another potential contender should the role be made available.

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