LeBron James cleared to play after testing negative for COVID-19
NBA legend LeBron James has been cleared to play after entering NBA health and safety protocols when he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
According to ESPN, James took eight more tests since Tuesday, and none has been positive.
The league released a statement explaining what exactly happened with the four-time champion.
“Following two negative PCR tests conducted more than 24 hours apart, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has cleared the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols,” it read. “James was originally placed in the Protocols on Tuesday, November 30 after a series of tests delivered conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on November 29. Additional testing confirmed that he is not a positive case.”
League officials noted that consistent testing practice has been in place since the 2019-20 season restart in Orlando. It added that one of James’ samples was re-run twice, with one negative and one positive result. He was then tested again, resulting in one negative and one inconclusive result.
As previously reported, NBA mandates require any player who tests positive for the virus to spend 10 days in isolation, with no physical activity. Following the isolation period, the player must undergo a cardiac screening and reconditioning to be cleared for a return to active on-the-court play.
This setback would have been the third for James, who has missed several games due to injuries, and one due to a suspension following a skirmish last month with Detroit Pistons player Isaiah Stewart.
James had alluded to the mixed test results with a cryptic tweet Wednesday, which read: “Something real (fish emojis) going on.”
The player hasn’t yet commented on his return, instead remarking on being a fan of both groups that participated in Thursday night’s Verzuz battle, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Three 6 Mafia.
Covid protocols in professional sports have been getting a lot of scrutiny this week as concern about the Omicron variant increases. Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards, as well as free-agent wide receiver John Franklin III, were all suspended for three games following the revelation that they misrepresented their vaccination status.