LeBron James injury update: Lakers star named in tonight's starting lineup vs. Cavaliers

LeBron James has missed the last two Lakers games because of an ankle injury he suffered in the team's win over the Grizzlies on Sunday. He sat out vs. the Spurs on Tuesday and the Thunder on Wednesday.

But his time off the court is coming to an end. The team has announced that James will return to the starting lineup for tonight's game against Cleveland.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski originally gave Lakers fans hope when he reported Thursday on "NBA Today" that it is possible that James will play Friday vs. one of his former teams, the Cavaliers.

"I'm told there's some optimism that LeBron James will be able to return to the Lakers' lineup Friday against the Cavaliers," Wojnarowski said. "There's optimism that that sore ankle, it certainly has improved, and that he can be back on the court against a very improved Cavaliers team."

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The Lakers have endured two tough battles without James this week.

They needed overtime to beat the Spurs 125-121, with Russell Westbrook (33) and Anthony Davis (35) each posting season highs in points. Westbrook added 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Davis had 17 rebounds and four assists.

Then came a 123-115 loss to the Thunder. The Lakers led by as many as 26 points in the game; it was the first time in 25 seasons that they had blown a lead of 25 or more points.

After that disheartening defeat, the Lakers could use a boost from James being back on the court. The Lakers have the fourth-best offense in the league with 116 points per game, but their defense ranks last in the NBA with 119.6 points allowed per game.

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