The Los Angeles Lakers have been plagued by injuries early this season with a number of players missing significant time, including LeBron James.
Dealing with ankle and abdominal injuries, James has played just six games this season with the Lakers struggling in his absence, going 4-5 to put their overall record at 8-7 through 15 games.
The strained rectus abdominis has forced James to miss the last seven games, although it was not believed to be a serious issue as Frank Vogel has been listing him as day-to-day with a potential return on the horizon.
It appears that return is now almost here as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that there is optimism he will be back in action on Friday night against the Boston Celtics:
There's growing optimism that LeBron James could make his return to the Lakers vs. Boston on Friday (ESPN, 7:30 PM), sources tell ESPN. James has been out two weeks with an abdominal strain. Lakers start five-game road trip in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 16, 2021
The Lakers begin a tough five-game East Coast road trip on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, so getting James back will be huge to build some momentum away from Staples Center.
In James’ absence, the Lakers have played well at times and horrific at others, clearly lacking consistency without their best player.
Given all the injuries the team has been dealing with, it has been tough to build any sort of continuity early this season. Hopefully James is 100% healthy when he returns though so he can stay on the floor and help build that continuity they’ve been missing through the first 15 games.
Horton-Tucker shines in first two games
The Lakers will not only soon be getting James back, but they also recently got Talen Horton-Tucker back from injury and the 20-year-old has shined in his first two games in a starting role.
It’s obviously a very small sample, but Horton-Tucker has averaged 22.5 points and 5.0 rebounds on 48.5% shooting and 35.7% from deep. If he can make a leap this season then that would go a long way for this Lakers team.
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