LeBron James’ return from injury appears to be on the horizon for the Lakers according to head coach Frank Vogel’s comments prior to the team’s game on Friday. Vogel revealed that James returned to the court and could officially suit back up soon.
“LeBron, his rehab is progressing nicely,” Vogel said. “He’s back to doing on-the-court basketball activity. This does not seem like it’s going to be an extended stretch. He’s to be considered truly day-to-day.”
James was ruled out with an ab strain on Nov. 5, an injury that did not have a definitive timeline. However, the Lakers never appeared to be too worried based on virtually all reports in the aftermath of his injury, indicating that James likely could have played through the injury if it were the postseason.
In his absence over the last four games, the Lakers have been wayward, losing the first two games to Oklahoma City and Portland before bouncing back with wins over Charlotte and Miami before Friday’s game. Including Friday, James will have missed seven of the first 13 games for the purple and gold.
However, both his ab strain and ankle injury that kept him out two games earlier in the season seem to be circumstances of the Lakers playing it safe with the benefit of having a third superstar in Russell Westbrook to shoulder the burden in his absence.
After Friday’s game, the Lakers will wrap up a lengthy five-game homestand with a back-to-back against the Spurs and Bulls on Sunday and Monday, respectively, before a five-game road trip that includes stops in Milwaukee, Boston and New York against the Knicks. It will be the team’s first road trip of more than two games this season, that of which they’ve only had once this year.
Naturally, having James prepped and ready for that stretch as the competition level ticks up would be a huge boost for the Lakers.