It may have been a small thing, but Tuesday was a notable step forward for LeBron James in his rehab. For the first time since suffering his injury against the Mavericks on Feb. 26, LeBron returned to the court during Lakers shootaround on Tuesday.
LeBron was filmed shooting free throws and strictly stand-still shooting, but it’s still his first on-court activity since the injury.
James lifted and did rehab during Lakers shootaround, per the team. The standstill free throws was the first on-court activity for James since the injury, per the Lakers. https://t.co/KfdzqcquQ5— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 14, 2023
Because he’s LeBron James and can’t help but be corny, he took to Instagram not long after shootaround to post the following picture.
As it stands, LeBron’s three-week timetable before being re-evaluated is only about halfway through. He was diagnosed on March 2 with the injury and while the three-week timetable probably isn’t set in stone, it’s still some time away before he fully returns.
But LeBron is also not sitting back and simply waiting to heal. A recent report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN noted that he is doing everything in his power to heal up and get back on the court. At the same time, Shams Charania of The Athletic suggested in the more immediate aftermath of the injury that it would be longer than three weeks before he’d return.
In short, it doesn’t feel like anyone knows when he’ll be back, perhaps even LeBron himself. It’ll be the actual concrete actions that’ll determine when he returns, and Tuesday was one of those moments. The response his foot has to each of these progressive steps forward in his rehab will be indicative of how long it’ll take him to return.
What we do know is this is a good sign and a hopeful one. The Lakers are already playing well without him and his return could give them the boost they need to make the playoffs. It’s a ticking clock for both sides on when or if he’ll return this season.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.