LeBron James injury update: Lakers star increases on-court activity, positive news expected after re-evaluation

After LeBron James went down with a groin injury on Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away from the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter for an emphatic victory. Since then, however, it's been a rough go of things for the Lakers without "The King."

They're just 3-7 since Christmas, and most recently lost at home to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. Tuesday night, they will try to bounce back against the Bulls (10:30 p.m. ET -- Watch on FuboTV wth NBATV add-on). The poor stretch has sent them tumbling down the crowded Western Conference standings, all the way to ninth place and out of the playoff picture. Which means that any positive news regarding LeBron is especially important. 

And the Lakers -- or at least head coach Luke Walton -- are hopeful they'll get good news when LeBron is re-evaluated on Wednesday. While he still isn't participating in full-court drills, LeBron increased his workload during Tuesday's shootaround. Via ESPN:

One day before he will be medically re-evaluated, LeBron James did the most he's done at a shootaround since injuring his groin, shooting and passing during half-court situations Tuesday morning.

While James has yet to do any full-court basketball activities with the team, Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton said he's hopeful to hear positive news Wednesday, when James' status will be updated.

"I'm optimistic about life," Walton said when asked if he's optimistic about James. "So yes, that would be covered in that.

"I think we'll get good news back."

It's great news for the Lakers that LeBron is progressing and moving in the right direction, because as we've seen they aren't a very good team without him. But considering he's still unable to do any fullcourt work, it seems unlikely that a return is imminent. 

Even though the Lakers desperately need him back, it's far more important that he be 100 percent when he returns. If they have any hope of making some noise in the playoffs, they'll need LeBron to not only be on the floor, but be at his best. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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