The Lakers re-evaluated Anthony Davis just before their game against the Indiana Pacers, and the team says he’ll miss at least two more weeks with the Achilles tendinosis and calf strain that are currently sidelining him.
Here is the team’s official statement:
Anthony Davis was examined by team doctors this evening. He is progressing in his recovery and has been cleared to enter the next phase of his return to play process. He will be re-evaluated by team doctors in two weeks and an update will be given at that time.
Davis has now missed 12 games with the injuries (including Friday vs. the Pacers): Two at first before returning to play for part of two games, and then 10 more since re-aggravating them in his second game back. So far, the only activity we’ve heard about him doing is lifting weights, and Vogel said Davis was not able to participate in any part of the team’s Thursday practice. The original estimate the team gave for his return to the floor was four weeks, which he will not meet now barring a big change.
Two weeks would see Davis miss at least eight more games after tonight’s matchup against the Pacers, which will give him about 28 games to get ready for the playoffs if he returns after this next evaluation, still offering him plenty of time to ramp up for the postseason while letting the team be cautious with their invaluable star.
Two weeks ago, Davis told Silver Screen and Roll that he feels ready to play, but has been urged to be cautious by the Lakers medical staff.
“Even though it’s hard to sit out and watch the team struggle and you want to get back on the floor and play, that’s why you have the medical staff and your team around you: To protect you from yourself. You always want to make sure that you’re going out there fully healthy. This isn’t the first time that I’ve aggravated this. This is the second time I’ve aggravated this,” Davis said then. “It’s an Achilles, so you want to be smart with it, so even though I feel ready to get back on the floor, you’ve got those guys around you to say ‘not yet. Let’s do a little bit more rehab and make sure it’s 100% healed before we go out there.’”
I asked our own Dr. Brar — who has a doctorate in physical therapy and covers the Lakers from a medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll — what his takeaway from this latest timeline was, and he says it’s a good sign.
“From all the indicators — AD walking without a limp the next day after the injury, traveling with the team, working out for weeks now — this sounds like the team is just being extremely conservative with him and want to ramp him up slowly so as to avoid a similar situation to the start of the season where he basically went from resting to scrimmages and games (a big jump in intensity),” Dr. Bar wrote. “Over these next two weeks, I imagine you’ll see him progressing to higher intensity workouts and then to on court, finally to scrimmages and practices.”
Dr. Brar made several videos on Davis’ injuries and what his path back to the court could look like when they were originally diagnosed that are worth re-watching now.
With Davis out, expect Damian Jones, Markieff Morris and Montrezl Harrell to continue to play larger roles in the frontcourt, with normal starting center Marc Gasol — when he returns from his absence due to the league’s health and safety protocols — also set to shoulder more responsibility when he gets back into the lineup.