Anthony Davis has already missed two games with what the team has only called “knee soreness,” and could miss a third straight when the Lakers take on the Dallas Mavericks. But while the team originally listed him as questionable for that matchup on their Tuesday injury report, they upgraded him to probable on Wednesday morning, so he may be set to make his return.
Lakers say Anthony Davis is now probable to play in Dallas after missing last two games with left knee soreness.— Bill Oram (@billoram) December 15, 2021
On Sunday, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Davis’ previous two absences were mostly precautionary, and that Davis would be day-to-day moving forward after an ultrasound determined that there was “no structural damage” to his knee.
Vogel said on Friday — when the team originally announced the injury — that Davis had just woken up with soreness in his knee, and wasn’t even sure when it happened. Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan will play bigger roles at center for as long as Davis is sidelined, with Howard starting both games since Davis was ruled out.
Davis has missed only missed two games that weren’t related to illness this season (he was out against the Indiana Pacers with a stomach illness that left him unable to get out of bed). That level of durability flies in the face of some of the narratives about him, and Vogel praised his star’s consistent availability prior to Davis being ruled out.
“I think it is directly tied to the amount of work he put in during the offseason. That was documented, and that was a clear motivation point for him after the way last season ended, to use the summer to strengthen his body to improve his durability and his ability to be in there,” Vogel said on Friday. “I think that’s paid off, and yes I’ve been happy with it.”
However, in a recent episode of Spectrum SportsNet’s “Backstage Lakers,” there were some signs that Davis might have been wearing down from his heavy minutes load at center:
Some fascinating behind-the-scenes tidbits from the coaches meeting (prior to the Clippers game) from Backstage Lakers.— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) December 12, 2021
-Trevor Ariza still had a limp at that point
-Confirmation the team is waiting on him to fully go small
-AD was getting tired from how long his shifts were pic.twitter.com/QAjl58HKHT
While it’s unknown if this injury was related to that fatigue, it’s clear that the Lakers are being as cautious as they can to avoid a more serious injury to one of their franchise pillars.
This developing story may be updated with more information.