Lakers star LeBron James cleared to return to practice next week

Lakers star LeBron James cleared to return to practice next week

LeBron James continues to take steps toward returning to the court.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - One day before he will be medically re-evaluated, LeBron James did the most he's done at a shootaround since injuring his groin, shooting and passing during half-court situations Tuesday morning.

"I'm optimistic about life", Walton said, via ESPN.

The Lakers announced on Wednesday that James would not travel with the team for road games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, but he has been "cleared to practice commencing next week". "So yes, that would be covered in that".

"It's the best job in the world and I love the challenge that we have", Walton told ESPN in a recent interview.

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Walton said he was "encouraged" by James' participation in some parts of Tuesday's workout. "I don't know the (exact) amount of running he's doing". I just know he seems to be in good spirits.

LeBron James suffered a left groin injury on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. "He's got another test tomorrow to get some more information on it".

Since LeBron has gone down with an injury, the Lakers have lost spots in the Western Conference, and are barely holding onto a playoff spot as they are in eighth place with a record of 24-21. James' 11 consecutive missed games thus far are the most he's been out since missing eight in a row because of back and knee trouble during the aforementioned 2014-15 campaign.

Los Angeles signed James to a four-year, $153.3 million contract in July. The Lakers then have two off days in Los Angeles before hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 24.

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