LeBron James clears COVID protocols, returning to Lakers on Friday vs. Clippers

LeBron James tested positive for COVID on Tuesday but the Lakers star has since cleared protocols and will return to the team on Friday. 

LeBron James sent shockwaves through the NBA when, ahead of the Lakers‘ game on Tuesday against the Kings, it was announced the superstar had tested positive for COVID-19 and could be out for an extended period.

As it turns out, James truly is built different — or, rather, the positive test might not have been an actual positive test.

On Thursday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that LeBron had cleared the NBA’s COVID protocols with multiple negative tests and would return to the Lakers on Friday for their game against the Clippers.

LeBron James COVID update: Lakers star returning Friday after clearing protocols

Charania reported that LeBron James tested negative multiple times after the initial positive test, meaning that the results of the initial test may have actually simply been inconclusive.

Regardless, the Lakers are surely thankful for his return as he’ll only end up being off the floor for one game. Even better, that was a game in which LA seemingly rallied around James’ absence and came up with a crucial win over the Kings.

Health has been an issue for the Lakers all year between James and Anthony Davis missing multiple games, which hasn’t helped a new-look roster coalesce. Now that the core is seemingly back intact, though, it might be the right time for this team to start hitting its stride heading into the holiday season.

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