LeBron James inching closer to return for Lakers

L.A. hopeful 36-year-old superstar returns to floor next month
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In the video posted on his Instagram social media page, Los Angeles Lakers swingman LeBron James jogs up and down the floor in Dallas.

He appears to move fluid and pain free. And in the post, James says: “Coming soon to a city near you. I’M REALLY REALLY REAL!!”

With Lakers head coach Frank Vogel maintaining that James is progressing but remains out indefinitely, James’ post provides the only crumbs of information reporters and fans seek on a timeline for a potential return of the NBA superstar.

James has been out since March 20, when he suffered a right, high-ankle sprain. The Lakers are 8-11 since James went down with the injury.

Point guard Dennis Schröder offered another tidbit of information after his team’s win against Orlando on Monday.

“I heard LeBron is close,” Schroder said. “And then we’re going to use how many games we have left to get the chemistry right, get on the same page -- even probably some games in the playoffs.”

Asked about when James will return this week, Vogel has this to say.

“The timeline is out indefinitely,” Vogel said. “I get detailed updates on everything he’s doing on the court on a daily basis, so we can measure and be in the loop on how close he’s getting.”

When asked if James needed practice time before playing, Vogel said the team will get him enough work that’s needed to be safe for him to play. Vogel noted that it’s different for each player and what the schedule is for the Lakers moving forward.

The Lakers close out a four-game road trip with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday in what Anthony Davis deemed a must-win for his team.

At 36-25, the Lakers are the No. 5 seed and two games ahead of the No. 6 seed, the Dallas Mavericks (34-27) with 11 games left in the season.

If James can return to the court next month, it gives Vogel and the Lakers a handful of games to get the team’s superstar ready for the postseason.

But for now, Davis said the focus for the Lakers remains winning as many games as possible, starting with the Wizards.

“We focus on the moment, more than the goals we set at the beginning of the season,” Vogel said. “We try to win each day, whether it’s a practice day, getting better in practice or a film session -- or just win the next game.

“All of our focus is very narrow-minded on the task at hand. It’s on the game in front of us.”