Roughly 90 minutes before the Lakers were routed by the Suns on Sunday night, head coach Frank Vogel provided an optimistic update on the status of Anthony Davis. Closing in on a month since suffering a foot sprain against the Jazz, Davis is set to return to the court for the first time as he continues his rehab process.
“He’s going to begin on-court work tomorrow with spot shooting and we’ll how that goes in terms of ramping up activity,” Vogel said. “We’ll just have to see how it’s responding.”
Davis suffered the injury on Feb. 16 and was given a four-week timeline before being re-evaluated. With the exact date of that four-week timeline being on Wednesday, March 16, this appears to be a bit earlier re-evaluation.
After Vogel gave his pregame presser, Davis himself talked to the media about his rehab and his upcoming return to the court. Davis expressed a lot of optimism that he would return this season, though he wouldn’t put a percentage on it.
Anthony Davis, speaking for the first time since the injury: “I feel good. The swelling has decreased. The function of my foot has increased”— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 13, 2022
Davis said the doctors told him both injuries “could have been a lot worse,” if he didn’t train the way he trained to strengthen his body. Instead of a knee sprain or foot sprain, it could have been a torn ACL or a broken foot. In short, he’s trying to focus on the positive.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 13, 2022
Anthony Davis said he’s “very optimistic” that he’s going to return this season, but he said he’s not 100 percent confident because there are only 16 regular-season games remaining.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) March 13, 2022
The timeline for Davis to return is one that is going to get really tight with the end of the season rapidly approaching. After Sunday’s game, the Lakers are down to four weeks and 15 games remaining.
On paper, that feels like a lot of time but given the fact Davis is only just now returning to the court and it’s for light shooting work as well as the Lakers’ tendency to bring star players back along slowly, the days are going to rapidly tick by.
And while Davis is optimistic he will be back this season, Vogel wasn’t quite as committed.
“100% maybe,” Vogel joked when asked for a percentage of confidence Davis would return. “We’ll see. He’s going to test it and he’s going to increase his workload and see how it responds. We don’t have anything further than that.”
Without Davis, the Lakers have struggled mightily of late. After the Jazz game in which he went down, the Lakers are just 2-7 in the nine games without Davis, including Sunday’s loss to the Suns. In the process, the play-in game has become an increasingly riskier proposition as the losses have mounted and the Pelicans have continued making a run.
In that sense, Davis’ return to the court is one of the only good signs for the future, but it’s a return that can’t, and perhaps won’t, come soon enough for the purple and gold.