The Los Angeles Lakers received some positive news on Tuesday, as superstar forward LeBron James was able to complete some on-court work for the first time since his injury.
James lifted and did rehab during Lakers shootaround, per the team. The standstill free throws was the first on-court activity for James since the injury, per the Lakers. https://t.co/KfdzqcquQ5
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 14, 2023
He also shared an Instagram post that indicates that it’s only a matter of time before his return.
View this post on Instagram
Despite James’ absence, the Lakers have been able to keep their head above water as they aim toward a potential playoff berth. They’ve won four of their last seven games without James in the lineup. Still, they need him back as quickly as possible.
Over the course of his 20 seasons in the NBA, James has generally been one of the more durable players in the league. That reputation has slipped in recent years due to injuries, though James is surely intent on getting back as soon as he can this season.
One look at his numbers in the 2022-23 campaign offers the chief reason why the Lakers also want that return to happen quickly. In 47 games, James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game.
Numbers like those are hard to come by, which puts an added burden on James’ Lakers teammates during his absence.
The fact that James wasn’t seen engaging in any strenuous movements on Tuesday may indicate that he still has some work to do before returning. Still, simply seeing James back on the court has to give his teammates some added motivation to keep the Lakers in the hunt for the postseason.
Only 14 games are left in L.A.’s regular season, and the Lakers are currently in a three-way tie for the ninth-best record in the Western Conference.
The Utah Jazz are just a half-game behind that trio of teams, so the cluster will be fascinating to watch over the next month or so.
However, for now, the Lakers have to focus their energy on Tuesday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. For James, all he can do right now is continue to rehab and hope for the best.