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Medical Perspective: How Close is LeBron James to Returning?

Let’s take a closer look at the progress LeBron James has made, and the key hurdles left for him to clear prior to returning to the floor for the Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers v Orlando Magic Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Lakers superstar LeBron James has missed a little over five weeks with a “high ankle sprain,” aka a syndesmotic tear that he suffered vs. the Atlanta Hawks a little over five weeks ago. But although the team line from head coach Vogel has continued to be that James is “out indefinitely,” we continue to get more and more evidence allowing us to piece together where James is in terms of his ongoing physiotherapy and return to play progress.

Plus, James’ teammates have been a bit more upfront on their medical updates than Vogel has.

“He’s close, I can tell you that much,” said James’ fellow starter, Dennis Schröder, on Monday night.

In the following video, I detailed that latest evidence that Schröder is right, and explained what else we (and the Lakers) will need to see prior to LeBron being cleared to return to the floor for the team.

Although the team has faired decently without the King — a record of 8 wins and 11 losses after last night’s win in Orlando — and the return of Anthony Davis has lifted spirits, with James’ return on the horizon, the thunderstorm looks to be approaching for the rest of the league.

Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and Laker Film Room. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.