The Lakers will be without one of their most important players for an extended period.
Los Angeles forward Anthony Davis is heading back to the bench after reaggravating an Achilles injury during a February game against the Nuggets. With the seven-time All-Star expected to sit multiple weeks, the Lakers will be relying even more on MVP candidate LeBron James as they look to avoid a major drop in the Western Conference standings.
What’s next for Davis? Here’s everything we know about his injury and the latest news on when he may return to the court.
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What is Anthony Davis’ injury?
During the second quarter of a Feb. 14 game in Denver, Davis attempted to drive past Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and was able to draw a foul. He walked out of bounds after he heard the whistle, clearly limping as he made his way to the free throw line.
Davis hit both shots at the charity stripe, but the Lakers had to sub him out at the next stoppage. He never returned, and Los Angeles lost by a final score of 122-105.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Davis had reaggravated his right Achilles tendonosis, which knocked him out of two games earlier in the month. Fortunately for Davis and the Lakers, MRI results showed no rupture of the right Achilles tendon but reportedly revealed a calf strain and confirmed the tendonosis.
“I felt great coming back the first time against Memphis, and I’m going to do the same thing, the same steps to get it back right,” Davis said after the game. “Obviously, be a little bit smarter with it, like I was smart the first time, but even smarter. Up the treatment more — instead of three times a day, maybe five times a day just trying to get it back where it needs to be to go out there and help the team.”
How long will Anthony Davis be out?
Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters Feb. 18 that Davis will be out for “four weeks” after doctors confirmed the calf strain earlier in the evening.
“We want to try to put this fully behind him and be conservative with it just to make sure that it’s fully healed before he’s back,” Vogel said.
The team later said the timetable was an estimate. Wojnarowski reported previously that Davis would be reevaluated in two to three weeks but was “unlikely” to play again before the 2021 All-Star break.
It’s clear that the Lakers will not rush Davis back before he is ready, as Los Angeles is more focused on having him for another playoff run than a few games in February and March.
“For me, all I care about is health,” James said when asked about Davis’ injury. “I want him to be healthy. Our team needs him to be healthy. He’s got to make sure that he takes all the precautionary reasons, everything, do his due diligence on what is going on with his injury and be right when he comes back.”
UPDATE: The Lakers announced during their game March 12 that Davis had been cleared to enter the next phase of his recovery and would be reevaluated in two weeks, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and other reporters. LA will play nine games in 14 days from March 15 through March 28.
UPDATE: The Lakers made a brief statement before their March 26 game vs. the Cavaliers. The most important part: “cleared to advance his on court work.”
Injury update on Anthony Davis, who, according to the team, “Was re-examined by team medical staff earlier this evening. He continues to progress in his recovery and has been cleared to advance his on court work. Additional updates will be given when appropriate.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 27, 2021
Anthony Davis stats for 2020-21 season
- 22.5 points per game
- 8.4 rebounds per game
- 3.0 assists per game
- 1.8 blocks per game
- 1.3 steals per game
- 2.0 turnovers per game
- 32.8 minutes per game
- 53.3 percent shooting
- 29.3 percent 3-point shooting
- 71.5 percent free throw shooting