A source tells Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) that James has had two “really good days of workouts at a high level” and feels great. If James is unable to get back on the floor on Tuesday, he’d target Wednesday vs. Houston for his return, per Charania and Haynes.
James, who missed 20 games due to a high-ankle sprain, came back on April 30 and played in two games before that ankle injury sidelined him again. He has been out for the team’s last four contests.
Although the Lakers are fighting to avoid finishing in seventh in the West, the team is more focused on making sure LeBron and fellow star Anthony Davis are healthy for the postseason, rather going all-out to move up to sixth and avoid the play-in tournament.
Still, getting James back in the lineup before the regular season ends would help get him up to speed and build chemistry among the club’s top lineups, which would benefit the Lakers whether they finish sixth or seventh.
Currently, Portland is a game ahead of the Lakers for the No. 6 seed and also controls the tiebreaker. L.A. has four winnable games left (vs. NYK, vs. HOU, at IND and at NOP), but even if the Lakers finish 4-0, they’d have to count on the Blazers losing at least two of their remaining games (vs. HOU, at UTA, at PHX, vs. DEN) in order to pass them in the standings.