The Los Angeles Lakers are riding an incredible high to end the year. Despite LeBron James missing the last month due to injury, the Lakers have roared their way back into the playoff picture. They are now at the .500 mark and are looking to cement their spot in the playoffs (and perhaps skip the play-in). Still, they would love to have the captain back in the fold as soon as possible. The question heading into the Lakers' Sunday afternoon matinee is simple: Is LeBron James playing vs. the Bulls?

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LeBron James injury status vs. Bulls

Lakers fans got a pleasant surprise Saturday night when the team upgraded LeBron James' injury status to doubtful, and he was then upgraded to questionable just hours before tip-off. After going through a pregame workout, LeBron was upgraded to available and will make his return to the court, though he'll be coming off the bench for the first time since 2007.

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James hasn't played in a month because of a foot injury. There were recently rumblings he was aiming to return for the final few games of the regular season, but he shot down the reports. This seems to be why.

The Lakers did pretty well with LeBron James missing time due to injury. The new-look LA team looks a lot better than their pre-trade deadline selves. They are punching way above their perceived weight class while also taking down their main rivals in the bloodbath that is the West playoff race. LeBron's return only makes this team more exciting. Maybe they're not quite contenders… but given the right opportunity, this team can (and will) do damage.

So, to answer our initial question: Is LeBron James playing vs. the Bulls? He is indeed making his return.