Lakers Injury Update: LeBron James Begins On-Court Activity; There’s Optimism He Could Return for Final Few Regular Season Games
LeBron James, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers announced that LeBron James was reevaluated on Thursday and has been cleared to begin on-court activity and a gradual basketball movement progression. There is no specific timeline for his return, according to the team, and further updates will be provided as appropriate.

This is good news for the Lakers as it appears that James is continuing to progress in his recovery from a tendon issue in his right foot that has caused him to miss the last 12 games.

The Lakers have done a good job staying afloat without their superstar, going 7-5 in that span, but there’s no doubt LeBron will be welcomed back with open arms whenever he is healthy enough to play.

Although the Lakers will not give an official timeline, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that there’s optimism James will be able to return for some regular-season games:

James himself is not ready to put any sort of date on a potential return, however:

Even though he won’t say it, it seems that April 5 against the L.A. Clippers is a potential target return date for LeBron. That would give him three regular-season games to ramp up for the playoffs or Play-In Tournament, wherever the Lakers end up in the standings.

Also given how close the Western Conference standings are, those final three games could very well determine whether the Lakers qualify for the postseason at all so getting James back would be huge.

At age 39 and with LeBron’s mileage though, the Lakers surely will not rush him back and risk re-injury as their title hopes would be crushed if James is not healthy for the playoffs.

Ham praised James for being coach on bench while injured

Even though James hasn’t been healthy, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t still been involved with the Lakers as Darvin Ham recently praised him for being another coach on the bench.

“Just talking through different matchups, different guys, giving guys opportunities, throwing me a couple of nice ATOs to draw up in the huddle. It’s been great,” Ham said.

“He’s just been engaged and really talking through the mentality of how time is of the essence, there’s only 10 games left and we really got to push through and try to make this thing happen. So just his presence, at shootarounds, even though he’s not able to participate physically, just his presence being around and talking to the guys, giving them confidence, building them up and helping us out as a coaching staff with things that he sees.”

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