LeBron James continues to take steps toward returning to the court.
The 34-year-old superstar, who has not played since straining his groin Dec. 25, participated in half-court shooting and passing drills during the Lakers’ shootaround Tuesday. He is set to be re-evaluated Wednesday.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said he thinks the team will hear positive news after James is re-examined.
“I’m optimistic about life,” Walton said, via ESPN. “So yes, that would be covered in that. … I think we’ll get good news back.”
Walton said he was “encouraged” by James’ participation in some parts of Tuesday’s workout.
“(James) does a lot of (running) when we’re not here,” Walton said. “I don’t know the (exact) amount of running he’s doing. I just know he seems to be in good spirits. He’s got another test tomorrow to get some more information on it.”
James originally suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Lakers’ win over the Warriors on Christmas Day. He met with trainers on the court, appeared to tell them he “felt it pop” and then headed to the locker room without assistance.
James underwent an MRI the following day and said on Twitter he “dodged a bullet.” But, he has missed the Lakers’ last 10 games. Los Angeles has tallied a 3-7 record in his absence.
Los Angeles signed James to a four-year, $153.3 million contract in July. He is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34.6 minutes per game this season.
The Lakers will host the Bulls on Tuesday. They’ll enter that matchup with a 23-21 record and on a two-game losing streak.