James was evaluated by the team’s medical staff, and did not participate in the Lakers’ shootaround or pre-game warmups in the team’s first road game of the season.
“There was some soreness and we are taking the marathon approach (to the season),” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
Vogel said this injury is in a “different spot” from the right ankle injury James suffered through late last season.
Malik Monk will start in place of James.
Vogel said James is “questionable” for Wednesday’s game at Oklahoma City.
“Let’s see how he feels,” Vogel said. “It’s day to day. He’ll get evaluated again tomorrow, and we’ll see what the soreness is like and make the decision then.”
Against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, there was a scary moment for the Lakers and James when he fell to the court and held his right leg in some pain in the third quarter after Memphis’ Desmond Bane fell into his leg. James was looked at by trainers and was down for a brief time. He re-tied his shoes, popped back up, jumped up and down a few times and stayed in the game. About a minute later, he had a big block.
James finished with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists in 40 minutes in helping the Lakers beat Memphis 121-118 for the team’s first win of the season.
James is averaging 26 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 38 minutes in the Lakers’ first three games.