Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press
LeBron James is reportedly expected to return to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers‘ Christmas matchup with the Clippers after missing one game with a thoracic muscle strain and a lingering groin injury.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported James’ absence is expected to be limited to Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets. He was initially hurt in last week’s loss to the Indiana Pacers and played through pain in Thursday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Lakers have dropped a season-high three straight games heading into the showdown with their Staples Center co-tenants.
“We want all our players to make sure that they’re healthy and being intelligent with this time of year, understanding it’s a marathon,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “It’s an 82-game season. And we’ll see how it progresses.”
The Lakers came out flat without James, playing lackadaisical on both ends in a 128-104 l