At long last, LeBron James is reportedly on the verge of returning to the court for the Los Angeles Lakers after the longest injury layoff of his career.
He’s been out of the lineup since March 20th with an ankle injury, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he could be back in action as soon as Friday night against the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings’ Twitter account had an appropriate and understandable reaction to the sudden news:
When LeBron went down with his injury, he was in the midst of another typical fantastic season. Perhaps on the ho-hum side compared to his standards, it’s still a season that most NBA players throughout history would kill to have.
LeBron James is set to return as soon as Friday night for the Los Angeles Lakers
So far in 2020-21, he’s averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.0 steal per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from 3-point range. The Lakers were 28-13 in his 41 games, and they went a woeful 8-13 without him.
Of course, this was a team built around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and both of these players were out of the lineup over this stretch. No team is going to fare well without their two best players, especially when that duo is made up of two of the best five-to-10 players in the world.
According to Wojnarowski, James will be a game-time decision after testing out his ankle before the game Friday against the Kings. If he doesn’t play, he is likely to make his return on Sunday when the Lakers play next against the Toronto Raptors.
Either way, this long wait is nearly over, and while the Lakers are unlikely to climb out of their current fifth-place slot in the Western Conference with a 5.5 game deficit to make up behind the Denver Nuggets, there will at least be some normalcy with King James back on his court.