LeBron James could return for Lakers-Clippers Christmas game

Frank Vogel provided an update on LeBron James, who was absent as the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets.

LeBron James was officially missing with an injury to his rib cage.   -  Getty Images

LeBron James will be assessed day to day ahead of the Lakers' Los Angeles showdown with Clippers on Christmas Day, head coach Frank Vogel said.

Superstar James was absent as the Lakers went down 128-104 on home court to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, its third straight defeat.

James was officially missing with an injury to his rib cage, while reports from ESPN suggest the 15-time All Star is also contending with a persistent groin issue.

Vogel acknowledged the importance of James and remains hopeful of having him available for a Los Angeles Christmas cracker on Wednesday.

"Hopefully he'll be available for us on Christmas Day," Vogel said in quotes reported by the LA Times.

"But we'll see how the injury heals up and whenever he gets back, we'll benefit from that for sure

"LeBron is obviously a game-changer. Our offensive flow, defensive communication, quarterbacking, playmaking offensively, being able to get guys shots. [He has an impact on] probably all that stuff."

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Anthony Davis did his part to try and carry the Lakers without James, finishing with 32 points, 11 rebounds and an assist, while the returning Kyle Kuzma put up 16 points from 22 minutes.

Davis himself had an injury scare when he hurt his knee in the third quarter, but he managed to return to the game.

"I felt fine enough to go back out and play. I'll see how it feels tomorrow [before deciding if I can play against the Clippers]," Davis said.

"We've got two days before our next game, so that should be plenty of enough time to get it back right. 

"But obviously the game just ended so we got to see how it feels overnight and then hopefully nothing significant happens. [I can] get some treatment on it and continue to move forward [on] Wednesday."