While there is no official confirmation yet from the team, multiple reports say he will be out at least 10 days, meaning he tested positive for COVID-19. He can return in 10 days at a minimum, although he could be out longer depending upon symptoms and testing (he has to have two negative tests more than 24 hours apart to return). Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was first with the time-off news.
LeBron James — who the Lakers are listing in health and safety protocols — is expected to miss several games, source tells ESPN. Players with positive Covid cases must be out a minimum of 10 days.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 1, 2021
The Lakers are 4-7 in games LeBron has missed this season and have a -4.1 net rating when he is off the court. He is the team’s primary halfcourt shot creator and without him they have had the worst halfcourt offensive numbers in the league (around 88 points per 100 possessions).
He could miss three or four games if he is healthy enough to return in 10 days (depending upon when he first tested positive).
LeBron is vaccinated; this would be a breakthrough case if he did indeed test positive. The NBA increased its testing after Thanksgiving in an effort to keep the virus from spreading around the league.
According to a study sanctioned by the NBA and NBPA, there have been 34 breakthrough cases among NBA players and staff this season. People who have been vaccinated are far less likely to develop symptoms or be hospitalized if they do. However, the virus can still knock some vaccinated people for a loop. Here is how Joel Embiid of the 76ers described his symptoms (he missed three weeks with a breakthrough case, hat tip NBC Sports Philly).
“It hasn’t been good. That jawn hit me hard,” Embiid said, employing a term from the Philly vernacular that can work for just about any noun. “I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad. So I’m just thankful to be sitting here. I struggled with it, but I’m just glad that I got over it and I’m here doing what I love with some good people.”
Hopefully, if he has contacted the disease, it doesn’t hit LeBron that hard.
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