Anthony Davis will be listed as questionable for the team’s Saturday matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers with the thumb sprain he suffered on Thursday, according to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.
“Still just a sprained thumb,” Vogel told reporters after the team’s Friday practice. “(He’s) questionable for tomorrow, no update past that.”
Davis sustained the injury while battling for a loose ball at the end of the first half of the Lakers’ 107-104 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, appearing to get his thumb pulled backwards during a collision, leading him to quickly yank his hand back towards his chest in pain and head back to the bench in the closing seconds of the second quarter.
Things initially seemed serious: Davis did not return to start the second half, with Carmelo Anthony starting in his place. In a moment that led to a brief sigh of relief from the Staples Center crowd, however, Davis returned less than two minutes into the third quarter with a wrap on his right hand, with the Lakers saying he suffered a right thumb sprain.
Davis said he “really couldn’t move” his thumb initially, but claimed it was “fine” after the game. Still, he cast some doubt about his ability to play on Saturday when the team travels to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers in their next matchup.
“We’ll see how it feels,” Davis said.
Davis did not speak to reporters after practice on Friday, and Vogel did not give an update beyond his quote above, so we still don’t have a ton of information on how Davis’ thumb responded overnight.
Davis had torched the Thunder in the first half, scoring 18 points in 18 minutes while shooting 8-13 from the field and grabbing 12 rebounds against the undersized Oklahoma City frontcourt. Davis has also been listed on the last several injury reports with left ankle soreness, and looked like a shell of his former self after hurting his thumb on Thursday, going 3-7 from the field and only grabbing 6 rebounds in 20 second-half minutes.
There is never a good time for injuries, but given that this team is already missing LeBron James for the next week or so with an abdominal strain, this is far from ideal, even if part of the reason they traded for Russell Westbrook was to give them cushion in the case of star injuries.
Should Davis end up limited or missing any time, expect DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard to completely split the team’s minutes at center, with Melo getting all the minutes he can handle as a small-ball power forward. As great as the latter has played, that’s... not great. Especially when considering that outside of Howard, Jordan and Anthony, no other healthy player on the roster is over 6’5 (Austin Reaves). So if Davis ultimately has to sit out, two-way players Jay Huff and Sekou Doumbouya may have to get a call-up from the South Bay Lakers.
This developing story may be updated with more details and information.