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Frank Vogel is hoping Anthony Davis can ‘build up’ to return vs. Mavericks

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Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

On Thursday, Frank Vogel announced that Anthony Davis had been cleared for full on-court activity after being restricted for eight weeks. Since then, Davis has yet to make his on-court return for the Los Angeles Lakers, but that could change very soon.

Before the Lakers’ game against the Utah Jazz on Monday — a game David has already been ruled out of — Vogel said that Davis was making good progress towards a return against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

“He got some good work in today,” Vogel said. “He got some good work in after our team meeting this morning, and he’s going to continue to build up over the next two days and see how he’s feeling going into that Dallas game.”

Vogel first mentioned the Mavericks game as a potential return date for Davis on Thursday, and it seems that is still the tentative plan. Davis could have probably played on Monday and been fine, but Vogel is working with the Lakers training staff to ensure that when Davis returns to the court, he’s ready to contribute.

“The biggest thing is conditioning right now,” Vogel said. “He’s healthy, but having not played and not really been able to ramp up his physical, on-court activity over the last two months, it’s going to take some time before he gets his wind under him, and obviously that’s the biggest thing. Because if his legs aren’t under him, then we don’t want him to be at risk for a re-aggravation of the injury or another injury, so we’re going to keep a close eye on that.

“Beyond that, it’s the rhythm and timing piece, so there is going to be some rust. We understand that going in, and that’s some of the stuff we’re working on this week.”

Davis’ road to recovery has been long, and he’ll still have a little ways to go even when he’s given the OK to play, but Davis and the Lakers trust that their patience will be rewarded.

“My sense is that (his patience has) been right where it should be,” Vogel said. “Big-picture mindset, wants to be out there for his teammates, misses being out there, but understands the value in really handling this injury the right way.

“He’s eager to get back out, but he wants to do it the right way.”

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