LeBron James Returns To Lakers On Friday

7:47pm: The Lakers have officially confirmed that James will be able to play against the Kings, tweets Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register.

1:49pm: Lakers star LeBron James is on the verge of returning from the high ankle sprain that has sidelined him for the team’s last 20 games, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

According to Wojnarowski, James has been upgraded to questionable for Friday’s contest vs. the Kings. The four-time MVP plans to test his ankle during warmups and make a game-time decision on his availability. If he’s not ready to go tonight, he’d tentatively target Sunday vs. Toronto for his comeback, Woj adds.

Although James missed more total games in 2018/19 (27) than he has so far this season (21), the 20-game stretch since March 20 represents his single-longest absence during his 18-year NBA career.

Whether his return comes today, Sunday, or sometime next week, the Lakers will welcome back their All-Star forward with open arms. The team began the season on a 28-13 run, but has gone just 8-13 since the game in which LeBron got hurt.

Home-court advantage is almost certainly out of reach for the Lakers, who are 5.5 games back of the fourth-seeded Nuggets, but getting the 36-year-old back in their lineup would put them in position to secure the No. 5 seed. Currently, L.A. has just a one-game lead on the sixth-seeded Mavs and a two-game lead on the No. 7 Trail Blazers.

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