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James gets green light to return against Clippers

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By Agence France-Presse

LeBron James, who missed 17 games with an injury, will make his return to the struggling Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night against the cross-town rival Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA team announced.

James is returning from one of the longest injury absences of his hall of fame career and it couldn’t come soon enough for the Lakers, who have gone into a tailspin without him.

The Lakers have lost 11 of 17 games since James suffered a strained groin injury in a Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors. The losing skid dropped them to the ninth seed from the fourth seed.

Lakers coach Luke Walton said before Thursday’s game that James would start and will have no minutes limit.

James isn’t the only injury problem the Lakers have. They also lost Rajon Rondo during that Christmas Day win. Rondo returned but then they lost Lonzo Ball to a sore ankle that will keep him out until late February.