Yikes! What LeBron’s 2-positive COVID-19 test means for Lakers

In the latest unexpected curve on the roller-coaster ride that is the 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers season, LeBron James has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and will enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He’s expected to miss several games.

According to the league’s protocols for unvaccinated players (like LeBron), a player who tests positive must sit out 10 days since the first positive test, and must go 24 hours without fever-like symptoms. Players are not allowed to exercise for 10 days if they contract symptoms and must remain away from their team. After a player is cleared from isolation, he has to undergo a cardiac screening and an examination in order to be cleared to resume basketball activities, if they show little to no symptoms.

Alternatively, a player can come out of isolation if they return two negative PCR tests from samples collected 24 hours apart.

If LeBron is indeed forced to sit out for 10 days, he could miss the next five or six games for the Lakers, depending on if the league counts today, Nov. 30.

The timing for James’ positive tests is yet another untimely development for the Lakers (11-11), who are working to find a rhythm, develop cohesion, and hone in on their rotation. The Lakers — who are 4-7 without LeBron, their only player with a positive point differential (+1) — were hoping their win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, Tuesday’s “payback” game in Sacramento and a relatively friendly upcoming schedule would provide an opportunity to build momentum before the road gets dramatically more treacherous beginning around Christmas.

Here’s the Lakers upcoming slate, after the Kings game:

Most likely, we’ll next see LeBron either in OKC or at Staples for the Magic clash.

LeBron is averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.2 rebounds in 11 games this season.

For a brief few days, the Lakers injury report had been at its shortest all season — only Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn remained. On Tuesday, though, the Lakers lost LeBron and gave an ominous update on Avery Bradley’s thumb sprain.

On the other hand, it also means that Frank Vogel’s seat will cool off…for now, though I’m sure he’d rather have LeBron James on the court.

Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards

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