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After an unexpected development, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has exited the league's health and safety protocols. After returning two negative tests, LeBron is now cleared to play in Friday's matchup against the LA Clippers.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that LeBron has had multiple rounds of negative tests since returning to Los Angeles Tuesday evening, and it appears that the initial positive test was ultimately an inconclusive result. This comes just days after the initial report that LeBron would miss several games.

ESPN announced on Thursday morning that Friday's game between the Clippers and Lakers had been removed from the network, and was being replaced by the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns rematch. This was of course before this recent news, and was accounting for the expected absences of both LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

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With LeBron available, he will join his co-stars in a matchup with a Clippers team that will be without Kawhi Leonard and Nicolas Batum. Due to injuries, neither the Clippers or Lakers are anywhere near where they expect to be in the standings. Just a half-game separates the two teams, with the Lakers at 12-11, and the Clippers at an even 11-11.

While early in the season, this is an important matchup for both teams. The Western Conference is more congested than ever, and both the Clippers and Lakers expect to be atop the standings when fully healthy. While that has yet to be a reality for either team, this is a step in the right direction for the Lakers.

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