NBA

Lakers expect LeBron to return 'at some point' before end of regular season

By Sports Desk March 19, 2023

LeBron James' regular season is not over, according to Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.

James has been absent since suffering a tendon injury in his foot during a February 26 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, with the franchise initially saying he will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

Three weeks have now passed, and while there was no concrete update in his timetable, Ham made it clear there is no thought of shutting down the rest of James' regular season.

The reality is that the Lakers do not have the luxury of holding James out for the playoffs, as they currently sit barely inside the Western Conference play-in tournament placings.

When asked for an update ahead of the Lakers' crucial win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday, Ham said: "We anticipate him coming back at some point [this season]."

Ham also pointed to how James' time away may have benefited his team, by being forced to field other players in expanded roles.

"I think Bron, him being out has revealed that we have a lot of different weapons that are very capable players on both sides of the ball that can help us achieve the goal that we're trying to achieve," he said. "And when he comes back, he's just going to add to it."

If James is not able to get back on the floor this season it will not be due to a lack of effort, according to Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder, highlighting the work the four-time Finals MVP is putting in to return to full strength.

"He works three times a day on his body to get back," he said. "I think we got a real chance here [once James returns]."

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