Lakers: LeBron James could return as soon as next week

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LeBron James could be back as early as next week for the Los Angeles Lakers.

To no one’s surprise, the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled over the last few months with LeBron James and Anthony Davis sidelined. While AD recently returned to the lineup and has since seen his nightly minutes limit upgraded to 25 minutes, the Lakers are still missing their best player.

However, it sounds like James is still on track to return as scheduled, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski providing a welcome tidbit of news on NBA Countdown on Saturday.

“You’ll see Anthony Davis still be on that 15-minute restriction in his second game back tonight but that’ll start ramping up as we get closer to LeBron James’ return, which could be as soon as the following week,” he said.

LeBron James still on track to return next week

Last week, it was reported that the King was on pace to return within the next couple of weeks, which kept him on track to return at the end of the original 4-6 week diagnosis for the high ankle sprain that’s kept him sidelined since March 20.

For perspective, next Saturday, May 1, would be exactly six weeks since he injured the ankle.

The Lakers have gone 7-12 since James suffered that injury against the Atlanta Hawks, and they’ve played all but two of those games without Davis, who was sidelined by a calf injury from Feb. 14 until Los Angeles’ recent back-to-back against the Dallas Mavericks.

AD played 17 minutes in his return on Thursday, struggling in his 17 minutes with 4 points and 4 rebounds on 2-of-10 shooting. He put up 17 points in 28 minutes in Saturday’s contest, but once again struggled to shake the rust off, shooting 5-for-19 from the floor.

The Lakers lost both games in Dallas, meaning they’re now only 1.5 games ahead of the Mavs as they cling to that 5-seed in the Western Conference. With Davis still clearly trying to get back into the swing of things, James’ return next week will be a very welcome one.

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