LeBron James cleared to return following negative COVID-19 tests

LeBron James

LeBron James' stay in the NBA's health and safety protocols was a brief one.

James, who missed one game after testing positive for COVID-19 and entering protocols on Tuesday, has been cleared to return after registering multiple negative tests, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The NBA released a statement saying James initial positive test proved to be inconclusive after additional testing produced conflicting results.

"In accordance with the Protocols, and the consistent testing practice that has been in place since the 2019-20 Season Restart in Orlando, the sample that produced the initial positive test was re-run twice and returned one negative and one positive result on two different PCR instruments," per the league's statement. "As a result, James underwent additional testing on November 30, with one test returning a negative result and a second test resulting in a clinically inconclusive result."

The Lakers were without James on Tuesday when they defeated the Sacramento Kings 117-92. After the game, James' teammate Anthony Davis confirmed that James had tested positive and said he was asymptomatic.

“He said he’s good,” Davis said. “I think he said he’s asymptomatic, which is a good sign. But we want to make sure that he gets back. Health is most important. It’s bigger than basketball. He has a family, and we want to make sure that he’s good no matter what.”

Per league protocols, if a player has tested positive for COVID-19, 10 days must pass since the first positive test and the player must return two negative PCR test results from samples collected at least 24 hours apart.


James, who ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported has had eight COVID tests since Saturday, posted a cryptic tweet Wednesday suggesting something "fishy" was going on.

James, who has missed 12 of 23 games this season, will be available when the Lakers host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.