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Anthony Davis to have MCL sprain reevaluated next week, Lakers have ‘optimism’ he could return on road trip

The Lakers still have yet to give a firm timetable on when Anthony Davis will return from his knee injury, but the latest rumor is that the team is optimistic he’ll be back soon.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s been nearly four weeks since Anthony Davis sprained his MCL during a collision against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but on Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers said that it would be a few more days before Davis is reevaluated.

The original timeline for Davis before reevaluation was supposed to be four weeks, which would have been Saturday, Jan. 15, but it sounds like the reevaluation may take place at least slightly after that original timetable.

“He’s gonna be evaluated early next week and we’ll have an update at that point,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said after the team’s practice on Friday.

This week, Davis was seen on the court for the first time since the injury, shooting in a knee brace, providing the first signals of hope that he was getting closer to a return, and Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports that Davis is “moving well” in those workouts, and could be back soon:

The six-game road McMenamin reference goes from Jan. 21 to Jan. 30, and is three games away, meaning Davis is likely to miss at least those three matchups at minimum if that trip is the team’s hoped-for timetable.

Davis has missed the last 12 Lakers games with the injury, and the team has gone 5-7 in his absence. In the 27 games Davis has played in this season, the Lakers are 12-15, and he is averaging 23.3 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting 52.1% from the field (the third-best percentage of his career, per BBall-Ref) and blocking 2 shots per game. (Editor’s Note: Davis missed three other games with two separate illnesses, during which the Lakers went 3-0.)

Before Davis got hurt on Dec. 17, the Lakers had the ninth-best defense in the NBA, allowing 107.1 points per 100 possessions, per The team has missed their perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate since then, as they’ve ranked 27th in defensive efficiency since Davis got hurt, allowing 115.5 points per 100 possessions.

Now, the team’s offensive rating has improved from 24th (106.3) to sixth (114.4) over that time since they’ve gone all-in on small ball, but the hope is that when Davis does return, the Lakers will be able to use many of the ways they’ve made LeBron James so effective without a traditional center on the floor to better optimize Davis and find a better balance between offense and defense than they have so far this season.

This breaking news story may update with more information as it continues to develop.

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