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When can LeBron James return from health and safety protocols?

Lakers All-Star is in health and safety protocols due to Covid-19. We go over what it means for his status moving forward.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the Sacramento Kings on November 26, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.  Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Update — James has cleared health and safety protocols after testing negative multiple times in the past 48 hours, Shams Charania reported Thursday. LeBron has been cleared to return to the lineup for Friday’s game vs. the Clippers after originally being reported out for several games. It seems James will only miss a few games in the end.

Los Angeles Lakers F LeBron James was placed into health and safety protocols on Tuesday night and will miss the team’s game against the Sacramento Kings. James entered the game questionable due to his lingering abdominal strain. Despite the injury, James will have to sit out at least Tuesday. James has said that he is vaccinated against Covid-19, which would mean he may not be in health and safety protocols for long. Once we know whether or not James tested positive, we’ll know more about how long he could be out.

When can LeBron James return from Covid protocols?

Update — ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says LeBron has tested positive without actually saying he tested positive it appears. If James is set to miss several games, that means he must have tested positive. Had he been negative, James would only need to test negative another time to be OK. So it looks like James will miss at least 10 days, which could be up to five games, including Tuesday vs. the Kings.

Since LeBron has come out and said he’s vaccinated, he isn’t subject to a seven-day quarantine. He’ll need to be tested for seven days but we still don’t know if James has tested positive for Covid-19. If that is the case, he could miss extended time, at least 10 days while isolated. If James was a close contact and rapid tests come back negative, he won’t have to remain sidelined long.

James could also test positive and as long as he returns two negative tests within 24 hours, he can come out of health and safety protocols. So if LeBron is positive for Covid-19, he can miss as many as one game — Tuesday vs. the Kings — or up to five games.