LeBron James Tests Positive for COVID-19

Lakers superstar is said to be asymptomatic, will miss several games
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2021 7:29 AM CST
LeBron James Tests Positive for COVID-19
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James looks on against the Sacramento Kings during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Friday.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

LeBron James, fresh off a suspension, is now sidelined by the NBA's health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar, who has said he is fully vaccinated, took a lateral flow test that returned a positive COVID-19 result on Tuesday, per TMZ Sports. A second PCR test came back negative, but a third test came back positive, according to the outlet. ESPN reports he'll miss the next several games. "Obviously, it's a huge loss. It's disappointing," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said during Tuesday's pregame press conference. "We just want the best for him right now. That's where our thoughts are. And we have a next man up mindset." Talen Horton-Tucker started in James' place for the Lakers' 117-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Vogel declined to say what symptoms James was experiencing. "Hopefully, this is something that's short term. We'll see," he said. A player must isolate for 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19, or produce two negative PCR tests within 24 hours, per CNN. After the game, player Anthony Davis told reporters that James "said he's good." "I think he's asymptomatic, which is a good sign, but we want to make sure that he gets back," he went on. "Health is most important." Russell Westbrook added that he planned to call James to "check his mental [state]." He said "it could be difficult … coming in and out of the lineup" as James has done in his 19th NBA season. The 36-year-old has missed 12 of 23 games due to injuries, including an abdominal strain, and his first suspension, which was followed by a fine. (More LeBron James stories.)

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