LeBron James out of COVID-19 protocol, cleared to come back

LOS ANGELES – LeBron James has been allowed back into the Los Angeles Lakers after missing a game in accordance with NBA health and safety protocol.

The federation said on Thursday that James was not positive for COVID-19 despite a series of tests giving conflicting results earlier this week. Additional testing has allowed James to play when the Lakers take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

James had an initial positive test result from a sample collected Monday. The sample was retested twice, yielding one positive and one negative result. James underwent an additional test on Tuesday, but those tests returned one negative and one clinically inconclusive result, according to the federation.

James subsequently had two negative PCR tests conducted more than 24 hours apart, meeting the necessary criteria for a return to competition.

James said earlier in the season that he’s been vaccinated. An apparently positive test result likely kept James away for 10 days or more.


James has missed 12 of the Lakers’ 23 games this season, with 10 due to injury. He also missed a game while serving the first suspension of his 19-year NBA career for a skirmish with Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart.

James is the third-highest scorer in NBA history with 35,651 points. He is averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds in 11 games this season.

The Lakers are 5-7 without James and 7-4 with him. They started Thursday in sixth place in the Western Conference despite a thorough overhaul of their roster around James and Anthony Davis, along with significant injury problems for several major teams. expected rule.

At least 17 players have joined the NBA’s health and safety protocols since the start of the season. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton are among the big names that have missed significant game time in response to the coronavirus.

The Lakers’ first meeting of the season on Friday with their Staples Center rivals was moved from ESPN earlier in the week with the expected absences of both James and injured Kawhi Leonard, who failed to compete. play this season. Both Los Angeles teams are near the .500 mark after the start of the year with championship aspirations.



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Huynh Nguyen

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