The four-time MVP has already missed 11 games due to a groin injury.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
January 16, 2019

LeBon James has been cleared to return to practice next week, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Wednesday.

James, who will not travel with the Lakers during their upcoming two-game road trip, was evaluated by the team's medical staff and physicians on Wednesday. The Lakers said James will "progress toward a return to game play" after his return to practice.

James was evaluated last Thursday by the Lakers' medical staff and was cleared to increase his on-court workload as a result. The four-time MVP has been out of the Lakers' lineup since suffering a groin injury midway through the third quarter of the team's Christmas Day matchup against the Golden State Warriors. James slipped on the court and appeared to say "I felt a pop" to the staff before exiting the game.

While an MRI revealed no structural damage, it was determined that the All-NBA forward did suffer a significant strain. James has missed the last 11 games and the Lakers have gone 4–7 in his absence. James, 33, had played 116 consecutive regular-season games and 156 straight outings including the postseason. He was averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists before the injury.

Los Angeles sits at 24–21 and in 8th place in the Western Conference after Tuesday night's 107-100 win over the Chicago Bulls. 

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