Sources: LeBron James to return Thursday night against Clippers

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/3704/" data-ylk="slk:LeBron James">LeBron James</a> hasn’t played since Christmas Day. (AP)
LeBron James hasn’t played since Christmas Day. (AP)

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will make his return Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers after missing nearly five weeks with a left groin strain, league sources told Yahoo Sports.‬

‪On Wednesday, the organization had ruled him out for the contest, but he was upgraded to doubtful early Thursday. ‬

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‪James’ last game was on Christmas Day on the road against the Golden State Warriors. It was the most time the 15-time All-Star missed due to injury in his 16-year career. At the time of his groin injury, the Lakers stood in the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings.‬

‪While James was sidelined, the team went 6-11 and is now two games back from the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference at 26-25.‬

‪After Thursday night, James’ next game will be where the injury occurred: in the Bay Area. West-leading Golden State will host the Lakers on Saturday.‬

‪James, a four-time league MVP, is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists this season.‬

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