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LeBron James could return for last 3-4 games of regular season

The Lakers SF has resumed on-court activities.

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game on Febuary 26, 2023 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

March 23 update: James has resumed on-court activities and while there’s no official timeline for his return, the Lakers are hopeful he can come back for the final 3-4 games of the regular season. In a tight playoff race where every game mattes, having the King back for even a few games could mean the difference between the play-in tournamaent and watching games on a couch.

Thursday update: According to the Lakers, James will be re-evaluated in three weeks for his foot injury. He isn’t going to require surgery but he’s effectively going to miss the most important time of the season for this franchise. If James can come back, the Lakers do have a chance in the final few weeks of the regular season given how close the West standings are. However, they are likely going to be in the play-in mix rather than one of the automatic playoff spots.

Tuesday update: According to Shams Charania, the Lakers are expecting James to miss 2-3 weeks with this foot injury. Given where the team stands in the Western Conference, this is a potentially devastating blow to its playoff hopes. If James does suit up again, it’ll likely be in the final two weeks of the season. We’ll see where the Lakers sit in the standings at that point.

Update: James will miss more than just Tuesday’s tilt. The Lakers star is feared to have suffered an injury that will sideline him for multiple weeks, according to Shams Charania.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without superstar forward LeBron James for Tuesday’s contest against the Memphis Grizzlies due to a foot injury. James has reportedly been battling foot and ankle pain for the entire season, with multiple insiders saying he will have to play with it for the rest of the campaign.

The Lakers are just one game out of the 10th spot in the West standings but there aren’t many games left in the season. Every time James sits, the Lakers do lose a genuine chance at grabbing a win. LA must feel it doesn’t have a good shot at beating the Grizzlies on the road anyway, and there’s no reason to risk James on the front end of a back-to-back set. Wednesday’s game against the Thunder, a team close to the Lakers in the standings, is a better spot for the King to power through.

With James out, Anthony Davis will be the focal point of LA’s offense. Look for Rui Hachimura and Troy Brown Jr. to get more minutes in this rotation. The Grizzlies are going to be sizable favorites with James out, and it might be wise to back them on that line.