Almost exactly four weeks removed from suffering his foot sprain in a win over the Jazz, Anthony Davis recently returned to the court as he began spot shooting, his first action since the injury as he continues his rehab.
On Friday, head coach Frank Vogel said that Davis had a “good” and “productive week” in his return and would continue moving forward.
“Just on-court shooting and he’s responded well to it,” Vogel said. “He’ll be on the court tonight pregame. But that’s the extent of what we’re giving out.”
Without him, the Lakers have crumbled. While they improbably rallied to beat Utah in the game where was injured, that has been the exception. After that Jazz game, the Lakers are just 2-8 overall. Both wins have come almost entirely because of 50-point performances from LeBron James.
The Lakers have been optimistic that Davis would be able to return before the end of the season, but that end date is still rapidly approaching. Given how slow and deliberate the Lakers are about players returning from injury, it’s going to be a bit of a race against the clock for him to be cleared for the season’s end, with just 13 games remaining before the play-in.
But even while the Lakers are tumbling down the standings, it’s hard to imagine much of a discussion of not bringing Davis back, if for no other reason than Davis would be unlikely to sign off on being shut down. If he is healthy, he’ll be back in the lineup, Lakers seed be damned. Still, even a player of his prodigious talents is unlikely to be able to salvage the Lakers season, and only time will tell if he will even be back before the season’s end, and what the state of the Lakers will be once he returns.
Notes and updates
- After re-aggravating his Grade 2 ankle sprain on Wednesday, Talen Horton-Tucker is out on Friday.
- Asked for an update on Kendrick Nunn, who is still dealing with a bone bruise, Vogel said there was not one. The most recent update was that he began ramping up again in late February, but the expectation was that he would not be available until late March.
- Both Wayne Ellington and Carmelo Anthony will miss Friday’s game against Toronto with non-COVID illnesses.