Lakers Rumors: LeBron James' Return from Ankle Injury vs. Knicks Is 'Likely'May 10, 2021
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is "likely" to return to the lineup on Tuesday against the New York Knicks after going through on-court work on Sunday and Monday.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported there's "much more optimism" regarding James' status after the workouts, adding that "James was pain-free after several days off" and was "able to make hard cuts and elevate."
Earlier Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported James was targeting Tuesday's game for a return.
Of note, James was listed as "out" for Tuesday's game on Monday's injury report. However, Jovan Buha of The Athletic pointed out James has previously played in a game after being listed as out:
James has missed 24 of the Lakers' last 26 games with a high ankle sprain. After sitting out 20 games, he returned for contests against the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors before missing the last four.
The 2020-21 season has been the most injury-plagued of James' career. He was playing at an MVP level before suffering the injury in March and is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists this season.
L.A. has faced significant injury issues as James and Anthony Davis have both missed large chunks of time. Their absences have marred the Lakers' attempt at defending their NBA championship, and they enter Monday as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.
There is no chance at a Lakers repeat without James in the lineup. His health is paramount on both sides of the floor.
The Lakers need LeBron at 100 percent as the regular season draws to a close.