LeBron James: Will Lakers star play against Clippers tonight? | Other | Sport

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The 34-year-old has missed 17 straight games since sustaining his injury, the longest lay-off of his 16-season career in the NBA.

The Lakers have gone 6-11 without their superstar leader to slide from fourth in the Western Conference standings to ninth.

Luke Walton’s team – who are 26-25 for the season – are two games behind the Clippers, who occupy the final playoff spot, and have lost four of their last five games.

This is the second meeting between the two teams after the Clippers won 118-107 against their rivals shortly after Christmas.

And as they search for a massive win over their Staples Center co-habitants, they could welcome back LeBron finally.

Though he was ruled out by a team spokesman yesterday, the Lakers have officially listed the four-time MVP as doubtful for tonight’s game (7.30pm PST/3.30am UK time).

LeBron looked in good spirits at the team’s shootaround in the morning as he steadily nears his return to the floor.

Head coach Walton said when asked about the forward: “He went through shootaround, looked good but still listed as doubtful. 

“Like we were doing yesterday, we’re planning on not having him and we’ll see what the best match-ups are from there.

“He looked good yesterday, he looked good today. The medical staff have that answer [whether he will be shut down until the All-Star break or brought straight back in]. 

“As his coach, his health is always our top concern but I’ll be excited for whenever that is that they let me have that player back.

“If he plays, he will start. We’re not that far yet [and thinking about minutes restriction], that’s all stuff that gets presented to me.”

The Lakers have been without Kyle Kuzma for two games with a hip injury while Josh Hart has been dealing with knee pain which has caused him to miss practice on several occasions of late.

Walton added: “They both went through shootaround. 

“Kuz actually looked like he was moving better than Josh was. That will be a decision made by the training staff whether or not they’re going.”

Lonzo Ball still has at least a month out with an ankle injury with the Lakers having been short-handed recently.

The Lakers will hope to get LeBron back out on court as soon as possible as they seek to end a five-year post-season drought.



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