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LeBron James available Saturday vs. Knicks

The Lakers star forward is dealing with a knee issue.

Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on January 25, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

February 5 update: He’s back. James is available for Saturday’s game, ending a five-game absence due to a knee injury. The Lakers will have their “Big 3” intact in a huge contest against a struggling Knicks team.

February 5 update: James is officially a game-time decision Saturday, which is a big change in his status. He’s been listed as doubtful for most games and was deemed unlikely to play Saturday as well, but has suddenly been upgraded. It seems like The King will make his return at some point in the near future if he doesn’t show up Saturday against New York.

February 3 update: James has officially been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Clippers. Look for Stanley Johnson to keep getting minutes with the starters, while Trevor Ariza and Carmelo Anthony absorb those minutes off the bench.

February 3 update: On the second night of a back-to-back set, James remains doubtful for the showdown against the Clippers with a knee injury. The Lakers have still maintained this is a day-to-day issue, so there’s no long-term problems at the moment. James will try to return Saturday against the Knicks.

February 2 update: James has officially been ruled out for Wednesday’s game, making it his fourth missed contest in a row with the knee injury. With the star sidelined, look for Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza to absorb most of those minutes.

February 1 update: James, who has missed three games with the knee injury, is unlikely to suit up Wednesday against the Trail Blazers. Look for Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza to absorb James’ minutes if he does not take part in the game.

Saturday update: There will be no speculation Sunday on the status of James, who has been ruled out against the Hawks. This will be the third game in a row James will miss due to his knee injury, which reportedly had some swelling over the past few days. The Lakers know their entire season rests on the small forward, so there’s no reason to risk him aggravating the issue in a late January game.

Friday update: James will miss another game with his knee injury, as the Lakers have officially ruled him out against the Hornets. Look for Carmelo Anthony to get the start in James’ place.

Friday update: James’ knee injury has been classified as a “day-to-day” issue, making the forward questionable for Friday’s game against the Hornets.

Update: James has been officially ruled out with a knee injury. The Lakers are taking no chances with their star Thursday. The team plays again Friday and it’ll be interesting to see if James suits up then. With James out, the Lakers are now +5.5 (originally +2.5) against the spread.

The Los Angeles Lakers have listed star forward LeBron James as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers with a knee injury. James was previously on the injury report for an abdominal injury, but had been taken off momentarily ahead of this game.

James was on an absolutely insane stretch despite the abdominal injury, averaging 30.5 points on 53.7 percent shooting over the last 25 games. He hasn’t missed a single contest since sitting out November 30. This knee issue could be a flare-up from an earlier injury James had this season, or it could be a sign of nearly two decades of wear and tear on his body. Nevertheless, the Lakers will take the cautious approach with James here as they need him to have any chance of making the playoffs and avoiding the play-in tournament.

The 76ers were already favorites heading into Thursday’s contest per DraftKings Sportsbook, but look for the line to move even more in Philadelphia’s direction if James is ultimately ruled out.