Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been cleared to return to the court after he tested negative for COVID-19 on two separate tests, the NBA confirmed on Thursday.
James will return to the Lakers' line-up against the Clippers on Friday, a few days after he entered the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols for an initial positive test conducted on Nov. 29.
“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, the NBA said in a statement on Thursday.
The league said James didn't in fact test positive after additional testing was conducted.
Soon after his initial positive test after he was entered into the protocols, James tweeted on Dec. 1 that "something real [fishy] going on."
Something is REAL going on— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 1, 2021
"James was originally placed in the Protocols on Tuesday, Nov. 30 after a series of tests delivered conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on Nov. 29. Additional testing confirmed that he is not a positive case," it added.
"In accordance with the Protocols, and the consistent testing practice that has been in place since the 2019-20 Season Restart in Orlando, the sample that produced the initial positive test was re-run twice and returned one negative and one positive result on two different PCR instruments. As a result, James underwent additional testing on Nov. 30, with one test returning a negative result and a second test resulting in a clinically inconclusive result," the statement said.
The league's current rules dictate that players must return two negative COVID-19 tests on separate days before being cleared to return to play. Those who test positive must sit out for at least 10 days before returning to play.
James, who was recently suspended one game after an on-court altercation with Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, said in September that he's vaccinated. He added that while he was initially hesitant about getting the vaccine, he did it for the people in his life.
"I know what I did for me and my family. I know what some of my friends did for their families. But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities, and things they want to do, that’s not my job," James said.