LOS ANGELES – LeBron James was cleared to return to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers game against the LA Clippers on Friday after a brief stint on NBA health and safety protocols, the League announced Thursday.
James has returned eight negative tests since returning to Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon, sources told ESPN, after the Lakers star tested positive for COVID-19 in Sacramento on Tuesday morning.
The Lakers beat the Kings without James, 117-92, and had a day off Wednesday, during which James took to Twitter to hint at his displeasure with the protocols.
James did not practice with the Lakers on Thursday, as health and safety protocols required him to be isolated from the team until he returned two negative tests within a 24-hour period.
The League released a statement Thursday detailing the chain of events that led to James missing the Kings game and being reinstated for the Clippers game:
“After two negative PCR tests performed more than 24 hours apart, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James approved the NBA Health and Safety Protocols,” the NBA said in its statement.
“James was originally placed on the protocols on Tuesday, November 30 after a series of tests returned conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on November 29. Additional tests confirmed that he is not a positive case.
“In accordance with the protocols and consistent testing practice that has been in place since the restart of the 2019-20 season in Orlando, the sample that produced the initial positive test was retested twice and returned a negative result and a positive on two different PCR instruments. As a result, James underwent additional testing on November 30, with one test yielding a negative result and a second test yielding a clinically inconclusive result. “