The soon-to-be 37 year-old will be out for the foreseeable future after testing positive for COVID-19, already missing last night’s road game against the Sacramento Kings.
James, who’s fully vaccinated, was sent back to Los Angeles to go through the NBA’s mandatory quarantine.
LeBron had just returned to the court after missing some time with an abdominal strain.
Anthony Davis Confirms LeBron James Is Asymptomatic
At least, The King seems to be in good spirits and feeling great, per Anthony Davis:
"He said he’s asymptomatic, which is a good sign, but we want to make sure that he gets back,” Davis said, per ClutchPoints. “Health is what’s most important. It’s bigger than basketball. He has a family and we want to make sure that he’s good no matter what. Like this basketball thing don’t stop. We want to make sure his health is what’s most important, especially for our organization."
"He’s part of our family and we want to make sure he’s good. For his sake, for his family’s sake," Davis added. "Like I said, he seemed to be fine, but I know he’s watching basketball and he’s excited, so the win probably helped him fight this off as well.”
James underwent three COVID-19 tests and tested positive twice.
The Lakers Have A 'Next Man Up' Mindset, Says Coach Vogel
The Lakers found out about LeBron earlier yesterday and arranged safe transportation for him back to LA.
Even so, the purple and gold managed to snatch a win on the road, and they’ll need to adjust and get by without their best player for the next handful of games:
“It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him right now, that’s where our thoughts are," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "Obviously it’s a huge loss. It’s disappointing. We have a next-man-up mindset."
When Can LeBron Return To The Court?
Given that James tested positive and it’s not a close-contact / contact-tracing scenario, the NBA states that he must be out for at least 10 days, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
"LeBron James — who the Lakers are listing in health and safety protocols — is expected to miss several games, source tells ESPN. Players with positive Covid cases must be out a minimum of 10 days," Wojnarowski tweeted.
That means that he’ll miss at least the Lakers’ next 4 games and would be eligible to return on December 12 vs. the Magic, barring any setbacks.
The Lakers Need Him Back
The Lakers entered the season with high hopes and expectations but are currently just 12-11 and sitting at the 8th spot in the Western Conference.
The team is 7-4 when he plays as opposed to 5-7 when he sits, a worrisome trend considering he’s missed 71 games across the past 4 seasons after missing 71 games through the first 14 years of his career.
Hopefully, James will be able to come back to full strength rather sooner than later, as playing catch-up isn’t ideal for the Lakers’ title hopes.]]>