Vogel said James would be "day to day" going forward after playing in Friday's 114-111 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Los Angeles next plays Tuesday in Phoenix.
"Had ankle soreness from the other night," Vogel said. "This is essentially like a back-to-back with the early start, and we won't be with him today."
Anthony Davis played his second straight game since returning to the lineup Friday after more than six weeks out with a right midfoot sprain. He finished with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in 35 minutes but appeared to aggravate the foot injury during the game.
Entering Sunday, James had missed three of the Lakers' past five games, a stretch in which Los Angeles has gone 0-5 to fall out of a play-in spot in the West entering the final week of the regular season.
Following Friday's loss, James said he wasn't sure whether he would play against the Nuggets due to the injury.
"Hopefully it reacts the proper way for me in the morning when I wake up and I have no setbacks," James said.
The Lakers trail the No. 10 San Antonio Spurs by a 1.5 games with four left to play. But by virtue of the Spurs holding the tiebreaker, Los Angeles has to pick up two games on San Antonio before the season's end to steal the final play-in spot.
"Nobody is feeling sorry for us. We aren't feeling sorry for ourselves," Vogel said Sunday.
ESPN's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.