Lakers’ LeBron James A Gametime Decision Vs. Celtics

Lakers star LeBron James is a game time decision for Friday’s road game vs. the Celtics, coach Frank Vogel told reporters, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.LeBron James

Earlier in the week, a source told McMenamin that James was “50-50” to return, while Vogel referred to him as “day-to-day.”

James told McMenamin, “I hope” about returning to the lineup from an abdominal strain that has sidelined him since Nov. 4, causing him to miss eight straight games. He has appeared in just six this season, having also been sidelined for two with a sore ankle.

The latest update comes about a week after a source told McMenamin that James is “progressing great” and should return to game action “soon.”

He is averaging 24.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in his 19th season. The Lakers (8-8) visit Indiana on Saturday.

“If the Lakers are easing James back into action, he likely wouldn’t play both games of that back-to-back set,” noted Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors.

Celtics guard/forward Jaylen Brown is again listed as out. Brown has been nursing a hamstring strain and is expected to return to the lineup soon.

Brown, 25, is 6-foot-6 and averaging 25.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in eight games this season. 

His name has been mentioned in trade rumors centered on available 76ers star Ben Simmons, though president of basketball operations Brad Stevens recently shot those down.

“I just walked up to Jaylen and said, ‘Your name is all over the place as you know. Obviously, from our standpoint, you’re a Celtic and obviously a guy that we think exceptionally high of. Nothing doing,’” Stevens said on 98.5 The Sports Hub, via CelticsBlog. “I just wanted to make sure that he has that peace of mind.

“When you get into trade rumors, obviously, there’s going to be rumors, there’s going to be talks. We have to be on the phones, but we also have to be prudent and smart about what we’re doing with our own team. I would say most of the time that I’ve been here at least, there’s a lot less to it that’s real.”

Boston (7-8) is coming off a road loss to the Hawks, but has won five of eight.

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