The Los Angeles Lakers cleared LeBron James to return to practice beginning next week, as he continues to recover from a strained groin suffered on Christmas Day. Despite the positive results from his examination on Wednesday, James is not traveling with the Lakers for their road trip.
That guarantees he will have missed a minimum of 13 games before potentially returning. That ties for most in his career (previously set during the 2014-15 season). James’ 11 consecutive missed games thus far are the most he’s been out since missing eight in a row because of back and knee trouble during the aforementioned 2014-15 campaign.
His next conceivable opportunity to play is Monday when Lakers host the Golden State Warriors. Though, the more likely scenario might be next Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 16-year veteran has been making steady progress since suffering the injury.
Late last week he was cleared to increase on-court functional basketball movements. Lakers head coach Luke Walton then revealed on Monday that James had begun running. That was followed by James participating in shootaround, albeit while being limited to only passing and shooting in the halfcourt, and not the “up and down portion.”
James concluded his day’s work by participating in a shooting competition with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
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