By Lewis Gould

The Sixers Jimmy Butler practiced yesterday for the first time since suffering a sprained right wrist on Jan. 19, and coach Brett Brown said “his expectation” is that Butler will return to the starting lineup tonight against the Lakers at the Staples Center.

LeBron James, meanwhile looks like a no-go for the Lakers because of his groin injury.

Butler said it would be up to Brown to determine whether he’d return after missing the past three games — home wins over the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, and Saturday’s loss in Denver to the Nuggets, a game that also saw the Sixers sit starters Joel Embiid and Wilson Chandler. He said he hurt his wrist when he fell on it during the Oklahoma City game, in which he shot 5-for-18 from the field.

“Whenever I fell on it,” Butler said. “I got fouled on a jump shot and slid backwards like I have on it in the past.”

Butler also said that the specialist he visited here confirmed the diagnosis he had received via an MRI and X-rays — a sprained right wrist.

“[They] just said to take care of it, and try not to fall on it again,” Butler said.

In 28 games for the Sixers this season, Butler is averaging 19 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Since acquiring Butler on Nov. 13, the Sixers are 23-12 — good for the sixth-best record in the NBA, and they currently sit in fourth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.