James, 36, will need to be out at least 10 days, per league rules. He has already missed time with a sore ankle and abdominal strain, and was suspended for one game as a result of his dustup with Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart.
“Obviously it’s a huge loss. It’s disappointing,” Vogel told reporters. “We have a next-man-up mindset.”
Vogel added that the Lakers found out about James’ status Tuesday morning, when James traveled back to Los Angeles from Sacramento. The Lakers were to face the Kings on Tuesday night.
“He’s been such an ambassador for the game, arguably the second-best player that’s ever played the game,” Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said. “Everybody wants to see him play, so it’s unfortunate that he won’t be able to play tonight.”
Even with James, the Lakers have been wildly inconsistent, failing to capitalize on an early favorable home slate.
James is averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds, a career low, through 11 games. Entering Tuesday, the Lakers (11-11) had played 22.