Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been cleared to return to game action after a series of COVID-19 tests came back negative.
“Additional testing confirmed that he is not a positive case,” the NBA said.
The league’s health and safety protocols dictate a player who tests positive for COVID-19 must enter quarantine until 10 days pass or they test negative twice across two days. Unvaccinated players are under stricter rules, including needing to isolate if they’re exposed to a confirmed case.
In James’ case, two tests conducted more than 24 hours apart came back negative, the NBA said.
The league also re-ran the original sample on two different PCR instruments. One instrument returned negative. One returned positive.
James said he has gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.
“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 told reporters in September.
James hasn’t commented yet on his return, which is expected to be for the Lakers game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
He wrote on Twitter Wednesday that “something is real [fishy] going on.”
Anthony Davis, a Lakers teammate, told reporters earlier in the week that James “said he’s good.” James was not showing symptoms, Davis said.
James has missed 12 games already due to a suspension for punching a fellow player, and injuries. The Lakers, the NBA’s champion in the 2019–2020 season, is struggling this year, going just 12-11.
Players around the league have had to miss time due to the NBA’s protocols, and some have said a bout with COVID-19 required time to get back into game shape.
“I think it’s going to take me awhile to get back, especially legs and cardio and all that stuff,” Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers said after a game this week.
“Some guys come back quickly and play pretty well; a lot of guys have played the one great game when they’ve come back and then gone into a little fog,” the team’s coach, Doc Rivers, told reporters.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, can cause symptoms including fever, coughing, and fatigue. Most cases are believed to be asymptomatic and the disease rarely causes severe symptoms for healthy, young people.