LeBron James is in contention to return for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, coach Luke Walton has confirmed.
James sat out the Lakers’ defeats to the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks as his team continue to manage their star player’s minutes.
But Walton is hopeful the 34-year-old will return against the Nets after coming through Thursday’s practice.
“We had 12 bodies [for practice],” Walton told reporters. “Lebron did about half of practice.”
When asked if he expected James to be ready for the Nets, the coach added: “Yeah, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow, but I think he’ll go tomorrow.”
James’ switch to the Lakers has not produced the results many were expecting, with the team set to miss out on the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Injuries – including a number suffered by James – have hampered their chances, but Walton has been proud of the team’s determination to keep fighting.
He added: “The injuries we have and where we’re at in the season, it can be easy to quit sometimes and our guys are going out there and competing and playing as hard as they can and giving us a chance to be in the games.
“We felt like we should have won two of those games, and we were in all of them with limited numbers. So as long as we keep getting that type of effort, I’m happy with the group.”