UPDATE: The Lakers are officially listing LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Alex Caruso as questionable to play against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night on their full injury report.
Here is the injury report for Lakers vs. Rockets tonight. AD and LeBron are both questionable. pic.twitter.com/hhfmWIR9cv— Play-in Game Faigen (@hmfaigen) May 12, 2021
Original story follows.
It looks more and more like LeBron James will make his return when the Lakers host the Houston Rockets in their final home game of the season on Wednesday night, but the status of his co-star, Anthony Davis, may be in doubt.
Davis could be seen wincing throughout the team’s overtime in their win against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night, and he confirmed he was in pain following the game.
“I’m hurting,” Davis said. “My groin got tight. That was really it. Not sure where it came from, but the groin got a little tight.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said that the training staff had confirmed to him that Davis’ groin was suffering from tightness, but cleared him to continue.
“We’ll just see how it responds overnight in terms of his availability for tomorrow,” Vogel said.
Vogel added that his star also really wanted to stay in the game, something Davis left no doubt about in his own postgame comments.
“There was no way I was coming out the game,” Davis said. “It was a big game for us. The team was playing red hot in the situation that we’re in, trying to battle for sixth. And it was a big game for (the Knicks), they’re trying to battle for fourth and keep that fourth seed.
“It was a huge game for us and I didn’t want to come out due to injury,” Davis repeated. “(I wanted to) finish the game and make sure we secured the win.”
Still, Davis agreed with his coach and the training staff that he’d have to see how he feels on Wednesday before deciding if he’ll suit up for the team’s final home game of the season.
“I’m not sure about tomorrow. I’m going to get treatment and see how it feels. I want to say I’m going to play but it was really bothering me tonight, but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Davis said. “There is a very strong possibility that I fight through it and play since the next day is an off day, but I also don’t want to have this nagging and then I’m out for a couple games, so we’ll see how it feels.”
Given that holding Davis out would give him three full days to rest before the Lakers’ final back-to-back of the season begins on Saturday, it would not be shocking to see the team be extra cautious with their star right before a potential do-or-die play-in scenario. Groin injuries, even minor ones, are nothing to take chances with. The Rockets are also actively tanking and one of the worst teams in the league, so the Lakers should in theory be able to take care of business without Davis and let him rest after playing nearly 40 minutes in each of their last three games.
If Davis does sit out, expect Montrezl Harrell to get more playing time to give the team some more scoring punch after playing just under five minutes against the Knicks, with Markieff Morris — who started in Davis’ absence and also played under five minutes on Tuesday — to likely get the start at power forward in Davis’ place.
We will update this post when the Lakers release their injury report for their game against Houston.