James could be upgraded tomorrow, but it is an ominous sign that the team has already listed him out for the matchup.
The Lakers lost to the Knicks earlier this season at Madison Square Garden with both James and Anthony Davis out of the lineup.
Davis will be active on Tuesday, but the Lakers will be missing Dennis Schroder, who played in the first matchup, due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
It had previously been reported that James was “feeling great” and intended to play against the Knicks, but the Lakers are being cautious with the four-time NBA champion.
James has appeared in just 43 games so far this season due to the ankle injury, but he is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.
The Lakers need James to be healthy for the playoffs, so they are likely holding him out until they are confident he can play without reinjuring himself.