Injuries have limited LeBron James to just six games so far this season, and he hasn’t suited up since Nov. 2 due to an abdominal strain. However, it sounds like we could see the Lakers‘ star forward back on the court later this week.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), there’s “growing optimism” that James will make his return on Friday when the Lakers face the Celtics in Boston.
That contest vs. the C’s will be the second game of a five-game Eastern Conference road trip for the Lakers. That trip begins on Wednesday in Milwaukee and also includes games in Detroit (Sunday), New York (Nov. 23) and Indiana (Nov. 24). If the Lakers are easing James back into action, he likely wouldn’t play both games of that back-to-back set next week.
Still, getting LeBron back in any form would be good news for a Lakers team that has had an up-and-down season to date. After Monday’s loss to Chicago, L.A. has an 8-7 record, good for seventh in the Western Conference.
The Lakers’ starting five has been fluid as of late, but Carmelo Anthony is probably the likeliest candidate to move to the bench once James is ready to go. Talen Horton-Tucker and Avery Bradley are the other starters whose spots aren’t necessarily 100% locked in.