On Saturday, shortly before the Lakers tipped off against the Brooklyn Nets, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the team expected Anthony Davis to return within the next two weeks. In his full story on that update, he also reported that Davis’ co-star, LeBron James, is “on track” to return shortly afterwards.
And James, who suffered a high right ankle sprain three weeks ago, is on track be back in the lineup in three weeks, sources said.
James has missed the last 10 games for the Lakers as of their matchup with the Nets. Three weeks from now would be May 1, meaning that James could return against the Toronto Raptors on May 2, when the team will have nine games remaining before the playoffs. At that point, James would have missed 20 games for the Lakers as they try to cling onto playoff seeding in the Western Conference without their best scorer and facilitator — and one of their best defenders — in the lineup.
That is obviously not a ton of time for James to ramp-up and a less than ideal amount of time for him to miss as this team fights for their playoff lives, but as we said with Davis, the team doesn’t have a choice here necessarily, and are going to have to make the best of whatever circumstances are thrown at them. The Lakers have to be careful with both James and Davis, because they need them healthy for the playoffs more than anything, because none of this has mattered if they’re not both as close to full health as possible. So in that sense, James getting closer to a return is unquestionably good news, even if it’s a little later than anyone probably would have hoped.