LeBron upgraded to questionable for NBA Lakers return

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, sidelined by a high ankle sprain since March 20, was upgraded to questionable for the NBA champions' home game Friday against Sacramento.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James is expected to test his right ankle in pre-game warmups before a final decision is made, but the move signals a return is imminent for the 36-year-old playmaker.

James, who won his fourth NBA title with the Lakers last year, has seen the team go 8-13 this season when he is sidelined, including defeats in four of its past five games.

His latest absence is the longest of his career and if it doesn't end Friday, James would get his next chance to return on Sunday when the Lakers entertain Toronto.

The Lakers stand 36-26, fifth in the Western Conference, one game ahead of Dallas and two in front of Portland.

James is averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists a game in 41 appearances for the Lakers this season.