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LeBron James is reportedly ‘on track’ to return as soon as this week

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LeBron James has missed the last 20 games with a high ankle sprain.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Everything that has been reported over the last week suggests that LeBron James will make his return for the Los Angeles Lakers soon. However, exactly how soon depends on who you ask.

According to a report from Kyle Goon of the OC Register on Wednesday, James, who’s missed the last 20 games with a high ankle sprain, is progressing towards making his return for the Lakers next week:

A person who has received reports of the 36-year-old’s workouts told Southern California News Group that James could be on track to play next week after positive feedback on his recovery from a right high ankle sprain. That would put James in the range of a Monday game against the Denver Nuggets, a Thursday road game against the Clippers, or a Friday road game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

That tracks with what Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported earlier this week and, logically, it makes sense because James hasn’t even been cleared for full on-court activities yet. But there have also been murmurs that James could make his return this weekend.

During ESPN’s broadcast of the Lakers’ game against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, Doris Burke said that she heard Sunday is the most likely return date for James. Her colleagues Dave McMenamin and Wojnarowski also reported that James could return this week on Tuesday.

So, when exactly will James be back? Only the Lakers know, and before tip-off on Wednesday, Frank Vogel made it sound like that might not even be true. But we do know this: there’s been a lot more smoke with James’ return date than there has been at any point over the last six weeks, and where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Here’s to hoping we get an actual update from the Lakers when they return from their road trip on Thursday.

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