USC's Bronny James cleared to play after heart issue

Bronny James' high school mixtape (1:35)

Check out Bronny James' top moments from high school as he prepares to play at USC. (1:35)

USC freshman Bronny James has been cleared by doctors to return to basketball just over four months after he suffered cardiac arrest at a summer workout.

The eldest son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will have a final evaluation with USC staff this week with the plan to resume practicing next week and a "return to games soon after."

"The James family would like to express their gratitude to the incredible medical team, the entire USC community, and especially the countless friends, family, and fans for their love and support. Fight On!" a family spokesperson said in a statement.

LeBron James said Thursday that he has already informed the Lakers that he will skip their game if they play on the same day that Bronny makes his USC debut.

"It's exciting. I'm looking forward to his first game," LeBron said, adding, "Family over everything."

Bronny James, 19, suffered cardiac arrest on July 24 during a USC practice and was hospitalized for three days in Los Angeles. He underwent a procedure to treat a congenital heart defect.

The Trojans face No. 11 Gonzaga on Saturday in Las Vegas. Their next home game is Dec. 10 against Long Beach State, after which they have four straight road games, beginning Dec. 17 at Auburn.

"The heart specialists have cleared him, which is great, and now it's a matter of getting him back on the court next week hopefully to begin working out with the team full contact," coach Andy Enfield said Thursday after practice.

Bronny has been participating with the team in pregame warmups on the court. He warmed up for the first time with his teammates before USC's 81-70 win over Brown on Nov. 19.

Asked if Bronny would be able to play Dec. 10, Enfield said, "That's not my decision and it's probably too early to speculate. He's been out of basketball for quite a few months, so we'll be patient with him and once we get the green light we'll get him into games."

The 6-foot-3 guard starred in high school at Sierra Canyon, just north of Los Angeles. He is part of USC's highly touted freshman class that includes fellow McDonald's All-American guard Isaiah Collier (the No. 1 recruit in the 2023 class, per ESPN).

"We're excited, but we'll be even more excited when he's actually out there with us playing," leading scorer Boogie Ellis said. "That's definitely a piece that we're missing."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.