LeBron James’ stint in the health and safety protocols was a short one, as he was cleared to return on Thursday afternoon and is set to play for the Lakers on Friday against the Clippers, according to multiple reports.
James has had multiple rounds of negative test results since returning to Los Angeles from Sacramento on Tuesday evening, multiple sources said. It appears the initial positive test ultimately was inconclusive result. https://t.co/p9FO9zUv1r— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 2, 2021
LeBron James has been cleared from the health and safety protocols and is available to play Friday against the Clippers, a source confirms— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 2, 2021
The league itself announced James would be eligible to play on Friday, explaining their reasoning in a statement also released on Thursday afternoon, essentially in an attempt to pre-empt any accusations that James was given special treatment.
The following was released by the NBA pic.twitter.com/Ct60rHwLLv— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) December 2, 2021
James entered health and safety protocols on Tuesday afternoon, hours before the team’s game in Sacramento. His absence was due to a positive COVID-19 test, but James was able to return multiple negative results in the days since and — as per the league’s protocols — will be cleared for the team’s game on Friday as a result.
LeBron James has been tested rigorously since returning to L.A. from Sacramento - he’s had eight Covid tests since Saturday, all of which have come back negative, sources told ESPN. His test in Sacramento was a false positive and James will return to the court Friday against LAC— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 2, 2021
As he’s wont to do, James’ cryptic tweet on Wednesday — which was also a perfectly on-brand tweet as well — raised some eyebrows about his situation and looks particularly noteworthy in hindsight now knowing that he returned a false positive test and will be cleared to return. It’s no surprise he was frustrated.
Something is REAL going on— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 1, 2021
Teammate Anthony Davis revealed after Tuesday’s game that he had talked to James, who had both tested positive for COVID-19 and was asymptomatic, which again is obvious in hindsight. Without him against the Kings, the Lakers rallied in the second half for their first blowout win of the season.
James’ season has been a tumultuous one, this being the latest wild example. He has featured in just 11 games through a myriad of injuries, suspensions and this stint in health and safety protocols.
However, until the next unexpected domino drops, all things appear (relatively) normal in Lakerland again as James will return to the court on Friday.