The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that superstar forward LeBron James has been cleared to practice and will resume training next week.
The Western Conference side had promised a January 16 update on the star and, following an evaluation by their medical staff, has revealed that the player is closer to returning after being given the green light to practice.
James suffered a groin injury whilst playing against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day and has been sidelined since then, missing 11 games so far. But the Lakers and their many supporters can breathe a bit easier following this latest development regarding his fitness.
LeBron James will not travel with the team on the upcoming two-game road trip and has been cleared to return to practice commencing next week.https://t.co/YwAcvuqEza— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 16, 2019
"LeBron James was evaluated by team medical staff and physicians today," the Lakers said in a statement via their official website on Wednesday evening.
"James, who will not travel with the team on the upcoming two-game road trip, has been cleared to return to practice commencing next week, and progress towards a return to game play thereafter."
The Lakers have fared quite poorly with King James absent and are struggling to maintain their place in the West's top eight. Luke Walton has also been under immense pressure, yet the young coach isn't thought to be on the hot seat and will remain the man in charge for the time being.
What This Means
Despite being cleared to practice, James wants to be sure he's at 100 percent as doctors have advised that reinjury to his groin will be worse than the initial problem.
His agent Rich Paul has also declared that the player will only return when he feels he's ready and not a moment before.
Nevertheless, this news is quite encouraging. Walton, though, could still be made to wade through another significant portion of the current campaign without his best player.