LeBron James is expected to return to the Los Angeles Lakers' lineup this weekend following the longest absence of his career.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports James could possibly return during the Lakers game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday (April 30) night or Sunday's game against the Toronto Raptors, according to sources.
James is expected to be a game-time decision on Friday night but is "likely to return" on Sunday if ruled out.
"ESPN Sources: LeBron James’ return from longest absence of his career — out since March 20 with high-ankle sprain – could come tonight vs. Kings. James plans to test ankle and make a game-time decision. Otherwise, he’s likely to return as soon as Sunday vs. Toronto," Wojnarowski tweeted on Friday afternoon.
Wojnarowski reports James is currently listed as "out" for Friday's game but is expected to be upgraded to "questionable," according to sources.
James has missed 20 games since experiencing the injury during the Lakers' March 20 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Los Angeles.
The Lakers have since gone 8-12 in his absence, which coincided with all-star power forward Anthony Davis also experiencing a calf strain on February 14, which caused him to miss 32 games before returning to the lineup on April 22 against the Dallas Mavericks.
James is averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 assists, 7.9 rebounds and a 51.3 field goal percentage in 33.9 minutes played during the 2020-21 season.