LeBron James said the Lakers are looking forward to welcoming Kyle Kuzma back from injury.
Kuzma has yet to feature for the Lakers this NBA season due to a stress reaction in his left ankle, missing the team’s opening four games.
However, Kuzma — who suffered the injury while on duty for Team USA ahead of the FIBA World Cup — is set to make his season debut against the Mavericks on Friday.
“It’s going to take him a little bit to get into game shape,” James told reporters of the 24-year-old after Thursday’s practice.
“He hasn’t played since USA basketball when he had the stress reaction. Obviously he’s been training and working out, but like I always tell you guys, there’s no substitution for game fatigue and game stamina.
“That will come, though. It’s great to have him back on the floor. We definitely missed him.”
Kuzma averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 2018-19 as the Lakers missed the playoffs in James’ first season in Los Angeles.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) was kind of the most running I’ve done, so to wake up and not really have too much discomfort was a good sign,” Kuzma said.
“Getting out here and doing the same thing (Thursday), and so hopefully it’s the same for tomorrow’s game.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel added: “(The training staff is) saying around 20 minutes. So there’ll be a little bit of a restriction there.”