The Lakers got some bad news on the injury front on Monday when Kendrick Nunn had a setback in his bone bruise rehab and had to be ramped back down as his return is delayed once again, but the news wasn’t all negative in Los Angeles. Not only did the team get maybe their best win of the year over the Utah Jazz, but superstar big man Anthony Davis had his sprained MCL reevaluated, and was cleared to progress in his own rehabilitation.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel announced the news after Davis was looked at by the team’s doctors during the win.
“Everything looked clean on the MRI and the checkup with doctors, so he’s been cleared for an on-court ramp-up with contact,” Vogel said. “That doesn’t mean we’ll have a timeline. There’s still a reconditioning and ramp-up of work involved.”
Still, this is yet the latest sign for hope that Davis could be back soon, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN also recently reported that the Lakers are “optimistic” that Davis could return during the team’s upcoming six-game Grammy road trip.
Davis has missed the Lakers’ last 14 games after suffering the sprain against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 17. He is averaging 23.3 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting 52.1% from the field this season.
As I wrote about a few days ago, the team’s defense has dropped off dramatically since Davis went down, and his (seemingly impending) return will give the Lakers a playable, traditionally sized center so that the team can use LeBron James as their primary backup in the pivot as a change-of-pace option, rather than as an every-game survival mechanism.
This developing story may update with more information. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.