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Report: LeBron James intends to return for Lakers-Knicks on Tuesday

LeBron James in Lakers-Suns

May 9, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) yells from the sidelines during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James, after some confusion, returned to the Lakers bench for their win over the Suns yesterday.

He could return to the court tomorrow.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Anthony Davis, via Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times:

“What I’ve seen from LeBron today … he’s … he’ll be fine,” Davis said with a smile. “Trust me. He’ll be fine.”

This on-track timeline is encouraging. Davis’ words are even more encouraging.

But there was still a report LeBron would likely face ankle pain throughout the postseason. Though a hobbled LeBron is better than no LeBron, his return won’t suddenly alleviate all concern. Los Angeles needs him highly capable in order to compete deep in the playoffs.

The Lakers even need work to make the playoffs. In seventh place, the Lakers have a chance to pass the sixth-place Trail Blazers and directly qualify for the playoffs. Otherwise, Los Angeles would need to advance through the play-in tournament.

LeBron – even while working his way toward full strength – should help.