LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been cleared to play in Friday night’s game against the Clippers after he passed the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the league announced Thursday.
James, 36, missed the Lakers’ 117-92 victory Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings, The New York Times reported. Had James tested positive for COVID-19, he would have missed at least 10 days, the newspaper reported.
According to the league, James returned two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour period, ESPN reported. Players who are asymptomatic can also return to play after 10 days if they are vaccinated, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“Following two negative PCR tests conducted more than 24 hours apart, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols,” the NBA said in a statement. “James was originally placed in the protocols … on Nov. 30 after a series of tests delivered conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on Nov. 29.
“Additional testing confirmed that he is not a positive case.”
James, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, is averaging 25.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 11 games for the Lakers this season, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Tuesday’s game was the 12th one James has missed this season, according to The New York Times. He missed 10 because of ankle and abdominal injuries, and missed one when he was suspended for the first time in his 19-season career earlier this month, the newspaper reported.
Here are some memorable photos of NBA icon LeBron James through the years.
2002: LeBron James of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School clenches his fists after making a shot against Oak Hill Academy at the Cleveland State University Convocation Center on December 12, 2002, in Cleveland, Ohio.
2003: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets take a breather as the wait for play to resume November 5, 2003, at Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
2004: LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony of the United States receive the bronze medal for men’s basketball during ceremonies on August 28, 2004, during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Indoor Hall of the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece.
2005: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers puts on a protective mask in his first game back since an injury to the face during their game against the Charlotte Bobcats on January 3, 2005, at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2006: Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James arrives at the 2006 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 12, 2006, in Hollywood, California.
2007: Co-host LeBron James arrives onstage in a throne during the 2007 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 11, 2007, in Hollywood, California.
2008: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James of the United States celebrate during the medal ceremony after defeating Spain 118-107 in the gold medal game during Day 16 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium on August 24, 2008, in Beijing.
2009: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers gets to the basket for a first-quarter dunk while playing the Atlanta Hawks in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 5, 2009, in Cleveland, Ohio.
2010: LeBron James of the Miami Heat pose for photos during media day at the Bank United Center on September 27, 2010, in Miami.
2011: LeBron James of the Miami Heat reacts against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 2, 2011, in Miami.
2012: LeBron James of the United States celebrates winning the Men’s Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012, in London.
2013: Rapper Jay-Z and Beyonce look over at LeBron James of the Miami Heat and the Eastern Conference during the 2013 NBA All-Star game at the Toyota Center on February 17, 2013, in Houston.
2014: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers wears an "I Can’t Breathe" shirt during warmups before his game against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on December 8, 2014, in New York City.
2015: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a play in the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 26, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio.
2016: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on March 19, 2016, in Miami.
2017: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates a second-half basket while playing the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena on November 1, 2017, in Cleveland, Ohio. Indiana won the game 124-107.
2018: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his three-pointer during a 104-96 win over the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on November 29, 2018, in Los Angeles.
2019: LeBron James of the LA Lakers and Team LeBron drives to the basket against Team Giannis in the first quarter during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2020: LeBron James of Team LeBron dunks the ball in the third quarter against Team Giannis during the 69th NBA All-Star Game at the United Center on February 16, 2020, in Chicago.
2021: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after his three-pointer in double overtime to lead the Lakers to a 135-129 win over the Detroit Pistonsat Staples Center on February 6, 2021, in Los Angeles.