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NBA: LeBron James cleared to return Friday vs. Kings

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Lakers star LeBron James will return to the court Friday night against the visiting Sacramento Kings and will not be under any hard minutes restrictions, according to Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel.

James, 36, had been sidelined since March 20 with a high right ankle sprain, and the 20 games he missed represents the longest injury absence of his 18-season NBA career.

“I would expect some rust, but that is the theme of this season with some guys having to return and work their way into shape during games,” Vogel said before Friday’s game.

The Lakers (36-26) had lost four of their past five games entering play Friday and were just 8-12 since the four-time league MVP injured his ankle. Los Angeles has slipped to fifth place in the Western Conference.

James was averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 41 games this season before Friday.

–Field Level Media

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