On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers played the first game of their five-game Eastern Conference road trip. Anthony Davis joined his teammates for the week-long trip, but the Lakers aren’t expecting him to suit up until they return home to Los Angeles, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times (emphasis mine):
Davis has missed the past 22 games because of persistent Achilles’ tendon discomfort and an adjacent calf strain. There is some hope within the organization that he will return to the lineup after the Lakers’ five-game Eastern Conference swing underway, but any injury that involves the Achilles’ tendon, no matter how purportedly mild, is going to spook people until Davis gets back on the floor. Achilles’ tendon injuries remain the most feared in the sport.
This is the most concrete timeline we’ve gotten for Davis’ potential return since March 25, when Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Davis was looking at a timeline of “two-ish” weeks. Thursday will mark two weeks since Charania’s report, and a week after that will be the Lakers’ first game back from their road trip. In other words, it’s not totally unrealistic to assume that Davis will be cleared to play once the Lakers are back in Los Angeles given the little that we know.
For now, though, Davis remains out, and the Lakers will play the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks over their next four games. So while there may be light at the end of the tunnel, the Lakers have to make sure they don’t run out of gas before then. As things stand, the Lakers are as close to the No. 3 seed (1.5 games) as they are the No. 6 seed.
Davis will lighten the burden on his teammates when he returns, but until then, they have to do everything they can to make sure that burden isn’t too heavy — we don’t want a 2018-19 situation all over again.