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Ham: Lakers anticipate LeBron’s return this season


LOS ANGELES — Exactly three weeks since Lebron James suffered a tendon injury in his right foot, and with exactly three weeks remaining in the regular season, Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham delivered the most encouraging update on James’ condition to date.

“We anticipate him coming back at some point (this season),” Ham said before the Lakers host the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

James, 38, injured his foot in the Lakers’ 111-108 win over the Dallas Mavericks on February 26.

Lakers medical staff are expected to re-evaluate James’ foot later this week, perhaps Thursday, to check the progress of his rehabilitation program.

LA has gone 5-5 with James sidelined, entering Sunday’s game as the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference with 11 games remaining, a half-game behind the No. 10 Utah Jazz.

“I think Bron, his absence has revealed that we have a lot of different weapons that are very capable players on both sides of the ball who can help us achieve the goal that we’re trying to achieve,” Ham said. “And when he comes back, he’ll just add something.”

To Ham’s point, without James’ team-leading 29.5 points per game average on the court, LA has had five different players in the last 10 games scoring 24 points or more: antonio davis, D’Angelo Russell, austin reaves, dennis schroeder and Malik Beasley.

James is no longer wearing the walking boot he initially wore to stabilize his foot and participated in his first on-court activity, saved free throws, on Wednesday in New Orleans.

lakers point guard dennis schroeder said James has been ramping up his workouts in anticipation of a comeback.

“He works three times a day on his body to recover,” Schroder said Friday. “I think we have a real opportunity here (with this team).”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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