The return of LeBron James? Lakers star upgraded to questionable

The Lakers say LeBron James is doubtful to play Sunday against Chicago, news that will not be considered progress in a vacuum.

Yet with James listed as “out” for every game the Lakers have played in the past month, the leap to “questionable” is significant.

Earlier this week, the Lakers said James had begun a ramp-up with on-court work, and while Saturday’s classification indicates progress, it’s still unlikely he plays against the Bulls.

The designation is good news for the Lakers, who have won three games in a row and reached .500 for the first time this season after beating Oklahoma City in the Lakers’ 74th game on Friday.

After a game with the Bulls in Los Angeles, the Lakers travel to Chicago to begin a five-game road trip. That trip ends with a road game against the Clippers at Arena, before the Lakers end the season by hosting the Suns and Jazz.

The Lakers entered Saturday tied with Minnesota for the seventh-best record in the West, 1½ games behind the sixth-place Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers have the tiebreaker against Golden State.

James shot down last week’s alleged comeback timeline on social media earlier this week, saying he was working out three times a day in an effort to return.

In addition to James, the Lakers listed guard D’Angelo Russell as questionable and center Anthony Davis as probable for Sunday.

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