Lakers star Anthony Davis sat out of the team’s last game with a right quad contusion, the third time — in four back-to-backs — that Davis has sat out at least one of the two games in two nights. He’s also been a nearly permanent presence on the team’s injury report, being listed for a total of 14 of their 20 games so far with a variety of bumps and bruises.
The good news for any Lakers fans worried about Davis’ health moving forward is that this appears to all be part of the plan. He told my friend Mike D. Sykes, II of For The Win that he’s very much still playing his way back into form, and that he and Lakers head coach Frank Vogel are on the same page:
Sykes: How’s the quick start changed your training at all? Are you preparing differently?
Davis: Usually when the season is over, I’d take a month or a month-and-a-half off to let the body heal and then get back into training and build up. Usually, it’s three or four months off. For me, it’s changed. But I was using the first couple weeks of camp and, even now, to ramp my body back up. Because you don’t want to have nagging injuries or find yourself hurt.
We saw it with [the NFL] unfortunately, a lot of guys got hurt early on because they didn’t have a preseason and went straight into playing games. We didn’t want to do that at all. Coach did a good job of making sure we ramped up the right way.
At Davis’ size and with his propensity for picking up little bumps and bruises throughout the course of the season, this approach makes a lot of sense, and has continued on their current road trip. Vogel has admitted that the team is trying to ramp up Davis’ usage during this stretch, and the result has been him being more involved on offense than he was previously.
Now, obviously the team didn’t want to lose to the Pistons, but sitting Davis for that game on the second night of a back-to-back and middle game of a three-games-in-four-nights stretch is completely logical for a team that is playing the long game with more than just Davis. The whole team is barely practicing out of the same desire to slowly ramp up and preserve their bodies. The Lakers had an almost nonexistent offseason, and it was always going to make sense for them to be extra cautious as a result. That’s doubly true for Davis, who played on an ankle injury the team kept a secret during the NBA Finals and had less time than ever to rehab during the protracted offseason.
So it’s not shocking that Davis is still listed as questionable for the team’s Saturday night game against the Boston Celtics, but at least in the wake of this confirmation from the man himself, we can trust that whether he plays or sits, it’s all part of the plan.