The Los Angeles Lakers could have LeBron James back in the mix before the end of the regular season, per multiple reports.
On Thursday, the team announced that James has started to progress with on-court activity and is on a “gradual basketball movement progression,” while the NBA on TNT’s Chris Haynes reports James is hoping to make his return for the final few games of the 2022-23 season.
James took to Twitter shortly after news of his status update was reported and said: “There wasn’t an evaluation today and there hasn’t been any target date for my return.
James has been out of the lineup since the end of February with a right foot tendon injury, but the Lakers have stayed in the thick of the Play-In Tournament chase with a 7-6 record during his absence.
James played 37 minutes in the Lakers’ 111-108 win at Dallas on Feb. 26, helping Los Angeles rally from a 27-point deficit.
He leads the Lakers in scoring at 29.5 points per game, and said at the All-Star break earlier this month that the team’s closing stretch this season would be some of the most important games he has played — noting he didn’t want to miss the postseason for a second consecutive year.
Big man Anthony Davis has stepped up admirably during James’ absence, posting 26.3 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 2.8 apg and 2.1 bpg, appearing in 10 of the Lakers’ 12 games without James.