REPORT: LeBron James Could Return As Soon As Friday Against Celtics

According to League insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Lakers forward LeBron James has been making good progress in his rehab from an abdominal strain injury that has forced him out of action the last two weeks.

With that good news comes “growing optimism” that the four-time MVP could make his return to the court soon, with Friday’s matchup against the Celtics seen as the target date for James to rejoin the Lakers (8-7).

Head coach Frank Vogel said Sunday that James has been back on the court and resumed individual workouts in recent days. The Lakers’ timing could not be better as they begin a five-game road trip that kicks off against the Bucks (6-8). The Lakers are coming off a 121-103 loss to the Bulls, Monday, where Anthony Davis got ejected in the third quarter in the midst of him putting his shoe back on and arguing with referees.

The Lakers’ up-and-down play so far this season is well documented, and Davis has been frank about the franchise’s championship hopes after a recent 107-83 loss to the Timberwolves.

“We suck,” Davis said per Lakers Daily. “No defense, can’t score. That’s not this third quarter. Every third quarter that we’ve played this season, we come out slow, lackadaisical offensively, and defensively. We got to get it together. Why? I can’t tell you. But we have to do a better job. We scored 12 points in the third quarter. They scored 40. That’s the game right there. We got to do a better job coming out in the third. Championship team? That’s not us right now. We’re not winning a championship the way we’re playing. We got to be better, and we got to care more for our wins at home, wins in general. That was embarrassing.”