James, who visited an ankle specialist last week and has missed 24 of the Lakers’ last 26 games with a high ankle sprain, is reportedly looking good in workouts and has a specific return date in mind, according to multiple reports:
Yahoo Source: Lakers star LeBron James (ankle) has had two “really good days of workouts at a high level” and feels “great.” He plans to return Tuesday against Knicks or Wednesday against Rockets.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 10, 2021
Those two dates track with the earlier reporting on James targeting Tuesday or Wednesday to come back, but it is obviously great news for the team that James’ workouts are going so well and that he’s feeling better. A return against the Knicks would give James four games to get his legs back under him, while coming back against the Rockets would only provide three. In another sign for optimism, the Lakers will have their 16th practice of the season on Monday. They almost never practice with just one day between games, so this would appear to be an effort to get James on the floor with his teammates.
But if you don’t want to take the word of anonymous sources about how promising James has looked in the workouts he’s been able to do or read between the lines, just ask his head coach, Frank Vogel, how James is doing.
“He looks good in his workouts,” Vogel said. “Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period with him in terms of getting his rhythm and timing back. Hopefully we have enough time for that to pick up very quickly.
“I’ve learned to have confidence in LeBron James in situations like that.”
Teammates Anthony Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope concurred.
“What I seen from LeBron today... he’ll be fine,” Davis said. “Trust me, he’ll be fine. He’s been in this game long enough. Obviously he hasn’t missed a ton of games, but he’s been in this league long enough to be able to come back and lock in and do what he got to do to help the team.”
“He’ll be playoff ready,” Caldwell-Pope added. “The rest, the recovery, we’ve been through this situation before and he came back fully healthy. Just seeing his workouts, he’s really putting that work, getting himself back together, to 100%. He’s showing it in his workouts: he’s going hard in drills, dunking the ball.
“Just seeing that, we’re very excited.”
At this point, it sounds like Lakers fans should be, too.