Lakers’ James clears NBA Covid protocols with negative tests

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is photographed during media day at the UCLA Health and Training Centre in California September 28, 2021. — Reuters pic
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is photographed during media day at the UCLA Health and Training Centre in California September 28, 2021. — Reuters pic

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LOS ANGELES, Dec 3 — Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has cleared the NBA’s Covid-19 safety protocols with two negative tests, the league said Thursday.

“Following two negative PCR tests conducted more than 24 hours apart, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has cleared the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols,” the NBA said in a statement.

“James was originally placed in the Protocols on Tuesday, November 30 after a series of tests delivered conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on November 29.

“Additional testing confirmed that he is not a positive case.”

James, who said in September he had been vaccinated against Covid-19, was ruled out of the Lakers clash with the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, although at the time it wasn’t clear if he had tested positive, had an inconclusive test or had come into close contact with someone who had.

On Thursday, the league offered more insight into what triggered his placement in the safety protocols.

“In accordance with the protocols, and the consistent testing practice that has been in place since the 2019-20 Season Restart in Orlando, the sample that produced the initial positive test was re-run twice and returned one negative and one positive result on two different PCR instruments,” the NBA said.

“As a result, James underwent additional testing on November 30, with one test returning a negative result and a second test resulting in a clinically inconclusive result.”

James is averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds in his 19th NBA season.

But he has missed eight games with an abdominal injury and two games with an ankle injury as well as serving a one-game suspension.

Without him this season the Lakers are 4-7. Their next game is on Friday, when they have the hosts’ role at Staples Centre against the team that shares the arena, the Los Angeles Clippers. — AFP

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