Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James is cleared to return to play after a brief stint isolated from his team due to the NBA’s Covid-19 health and safety protocols.
James has provided negative PCR tests since he was scratched from playing Tuesday, the NBA said in a statement.
“James was originally placed in the Protocols on Tuesday, November 30 after a series of tests delivered conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on November 29. Additional testing confirmed that he is not a positive case,” the statement said.
“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. 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.”
If a player tests positive for Covid-19, that player could return if he tests negative twice consecutively for the virus at least 24 hours apart, the league’s protocols stipulate. Otherwise, the player must isolate for at least 10 days following a positive test.
James has stated publicly he received the vaccine despite being skeptical at first.
“Everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature,” James told reporters in September.
“I know that I was very skeptical about it all. But after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but my family and my friends,” he said. “That’s why I decided to do it.”
James missed Tuesday night’s road game against the Sacramento Kings. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said the team arranged for transportation to get James safely back to Los Angeles.
“Obviously, it’s a huge loss,” Vogel said Tuesday before the game. “It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him right now.”
The Lakers beat the Kings 117-92 without their star forward. James’ next anticipated game is Friday night in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
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